The multi-award winning company Hodmedod was founded by Nick Saltmarsh, Josiah Meldrum and William Hudson in 2012 to supply organic beans, peas and pulses, grown by British farmers.
They are particularly interested in searching out less well-known foods, like the fava bean – grown in Britain since the Iron Age but now almost forgotten – and black badger peas.
The inspiration for Hodmedod grew from the successful Great British Beans trial, a community project which aimed to stimulate and assess demand for indigenous pulses.
For the trial, which took place in Norwich, the team purchased a tonne of British-grown split fava beans, packed them up at the kitchen table, and distributed them through community groups and local shops. Each pack contained a postcard with a short questionnaire on the back to collect feedback on the beans. The response to the beans was overwhelming, underpinning the belief that there was a sustainable market for British grown beans and similar products.
The demand has continued to grow; the first product grown was the fava bean, followed by carlin peas and quinoa grown on the plains of Essex. Grains produced on the farms are milled into flour at the Hodmedod mill house, using traditional techniques. The company also produces a range of organic peas, beans and dahls using a small-scale organic canner, based in Manchester.
The company has won a raft of national accolades, including BBC Food and Farming Awards Best Food Producer in 2017 and several Great Taste awards between 2016 and 2020.
Hodmedod is an old East Anglian word meaning something round or curled up, hence snails, hedgehogs, curls, ammonites and even conceivably beans and peas.
The team chose the name because they liked the sound of it, and felt that it reflected both their East Anglian roots and part of our forgotten heritage, a bit like the fava bean or black badger peas