Allan and Sue Miller both worked full time as chefs for 20 years before becoming growers of Micro Cress. Their transition from one profession to another was brought about by the need for a more consistent product. They decided to grow cress themselves in a small greenhouse in their back garden and began supplying the restaurant they worked in. Their experience has helped them tremendously in understanding the requirements of chefs. Having successfully grown Micro Cress for use in the restaurant, with very positive feedback, they were asked by a wholesaler if they were able to grow in a larger volume. Allan and Sue decided to invest their time and money into their business, which is when ‘Nurtured in Norfolk’ really began.
Allan and Sue chose micro herbs that where strong in flavour and still looked appealing on the plate with varieties that are most popular because of their robust flavour like coriander, lemon balm, baby mint, ruby frills mustard, fennel, garlic chives, red vein sorrel and basil are still by far the most popular to date. The range of micro cress has now been extended to over 70 different types. All together there are over 280 different edibles in the range.
Now 10 years on in a 4-acre nursery the business has gone from strength to strength, with the help and support of numerous wholesalers. A work force of 60 plus fulltime committed staff now produce a niche range to keep up with the ever-growing demand for new, unique and innovative products.
Constantly growing and developing as a company ‘Nurtured in Norfolk’ now supply a range of wholesalers and Michelin star restaurants with a top-quality selection of cut Micro Cress, Pea Shoots, Edible Flowers, Baby, Micro and Sea Vegetables and Edible Leaves in various flavours. As you will see from a few pictures there is a huge amount of produce, all of a very high quality. The glasshouses as well are huge that are heated in the winter, so they can carry on growing through the winter and as they enter the summer they will then need a little cooler air. As ex chefs, Allan and Sue’s simple ethos is that the quality and consistency of the product has to be of an exacting standard that they would have expected and been happy to use themselves. All the products have been grown on a natural soil base that is of a high quality benefiting from nutrients that are present throughout the growing stages and therefore extending the shelf life. Biological controls are used throughout the growing process to keep the crops clean and pest free and so making sure that all the crops have the most flavour and being micro they certainly do pack a punch.