Time-poor, rushed off your feet, need a vitamin boost? Try POTAGE, their little pots of goodness zing with flavour and nutrients and are delivered straight to your door.
Following last week’s blast of gloriously sunny days, we’ve started to feel just a little bit summery inside – our very bones aching for those long evenings spent leisurely soaking up the sun without a care in the world. With the change in weather also comes a change in habits. We all plan to eat better, exercise more and treat our weary bodies with a little more respect. But even the most well-intentioned plans can be a struggle to put into action with the realities of long working-hours and the constant demands of (sometime less than angelic) children taking their toll.
And this is where the utterly wonderful POTAGE comes to our rescue. Little pots of goodness pilled high with colourful, light and gorgeously fresh fruit and veg that zing with flavour and nutrients are delivered straight to your door (via bicycle). No hassel, no shopping, no apron necessary – just ring them up and order some super healthy, home-cooked food for you and your family to tuck into.
We’ve fallen head-over-heals for this little food delivery company that frees time-poor mamas from the clutches of the kitchen, and lets them spend more time with their families while still ensuring everyone gets their five-a-day. Suddenly those long evenings spent soaking up the sun are looking a tad more likely. So having sampled a few little pots our selves (the grilled tuna and black rice salad with avocado and toasted pumpkin seeds is to die for, and the brownies are something else!) we thought we’d get the founder and life-long foodie Georgia Cummings in to find out how POTAGE all began!
How did you first get into cooking?
Every meal at home was an occasion growing up, whether a quick Monday morning breakfast before school or Sunday lunch with lots of people, my parents made sure that we always sat down together at the kitchen table and enjoyed homemade food. My brothers and I were often helped in the kitchen and I suppose that’s where the roots to my love of cooking lie.
Did you have any formal training in cooking?
I trained at Ballymaloe Cookery School, it’s a huge farm in Ireland run by Darina Allen. I was there for just over 3 months living in a bungalow with my friend Frank (now chef at Restaurant Story). It was a very happy time with masses of opportunity to learn, not just in the kitchen but also on the farm planting lettuces, milking cows, working at the weekly farmer’s market…
Any distinct food memories as a kid? Has this shaped what you cook today?
There was always been an emphasis on fresh, homemade food and eating together at the kitchen table. My Granny and Grandpa had this amazing vegetable garden and greenhouse full of goodies both of which featured heavily in my childhood – I learnt to appreciate what fresh ingredients can do for a dish and have since been obsessed!
My childhood has therefore definitely shaped the business and the way I eat today. All the POTAGE food is freshly prepared each morning with a goal to allow those who don’t have the time to plan menus, do the grocery shopping, cook and wash up every day of the week to eat well. Our customers are time poor – often with young kids or stuck in offices for long hours and don’t always have the time to cook – and it’s very rewarding to be able to offer them something that’s convenient and fresh.
Was the plan always to be a chef or did you start off doing something different?
I’ve always wanted to work with food in some shape or form. At university I entered a competition organized by Ernst & Young and was given £500 capital to set up a business and make as much money as possible for The Prince’s Trust. I created a national art competition and raised over £25,000 (I was kicked out of Bristol University after failing an exam in my second year – as I’d abandoned my studies for the project – but thanks to a supportive tutor managed to creep back in and graduate.) It was the first time I’d really enjoyed working on something and I knew from then that I wanted to run my own business.
What is POTAGE exactly? How did you decide on the name?
A French cookery noun meaning ‘food from a pot’. My dad was at my flat waiting to test a recipe I’d been developing and picked up a copy of Janet Clarkson’s ‘A Global History of Soup’ that I’d just bought. In the introduction it explains how the name potage is a universal concept that can be applied to a huge variety of dishes. On our menu today we have 6 different categories; Salad Pot, Souper Pot, Raw Pot, Protein Pot, Top of the Pots, Pot Luck.
How is Potage different from other delivery companies?
The menu changes weekly, our meat and eggs are organic and the veg fresh from the local market. We make all our food from scratch each morning and food is delivered cold for customers to heat on a hob, in the oven or a microwave at a time that suits.