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The Chilli Queen is a small, family run business based in Holme upon Spalding Moor, East Riding and is headed by 23 year old Hannah Wilson and her Dad, Phil Wilson. Phil has grown salad crops for over 36 years and when Hannah was younger, she would help her Dad around the farm and has grown up with a great enthusiasm to follow in her father’s footsteps. Hannah and Phil decided they wanted a new product that would take the business in a different direction. After much deliberation, they decided to pursue chilli growing, as this was unlike anything they had done before and a new challenge to take on. The Chilli Queen currently grows 16 different varieties of chillies, ranging from mild, fruity flavours to the world’s hottest chilli! The pair run the business together, picking and packing the orders by hand, keeping on top of the website and promoting themselves on social media. The two make a great team, with Hannah handling the digital side of things and her Dad using his wealth of knowledge and experience in growing produce. Each day is completely different for them, but they find the experience thrilling and they’re kept on their toes at all times!
Hannah and her Father are currently perfecting recipes to soon launch their range of sauces and chutneys. It’s very important to them that the majority of the ingredients needed will be sourced from their very own farm, whilst ingredients that cannot be grown on the farm will be sourced locally, hopefully all within Yorkshire. It is very important to them that they support as many other local businesses as possible.
Business Growth & Future Goals
The pair have learned a lot as the business has progressed. They have a clearer idea of their customer base and their needs. They also have a clearer understanding of the produce itself and how to care for and grow the plants in a way to get the best results. Since starting out, The Chilli Queen have doubled the amount of chilli plant varieties they grow. They are now supplying a selection of local businesses, and hope to expand their offering to other local farm shops, delis, cafés and restaurants. They want to provide their customers with a ‘one stop chilli shop’, and one day they hope to offer their customers the option to walk around the chilli farm and pick their own chillies themselves. They are currently taking the time to perfect recipes for their chutneys and sauces and are hoping to launch their products by the end of next year. They plan to provide detailed descriptions about how their chutneys and sauces were made and which specific ingredients were used.
Since joining the SIAFS project, Hannah has been very keen to extend her business knowledge and has taken full advantage of the free workshops on offer. Whilst a member of the project, Hannah has attended workshops such as Funding, Marketing, Sales, Food Hygiene, PR and SALSA, as well as attending multiple networking events and making useful contacts.
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