The Real Food Company was established in 1990, as a way of giving Carol, Nick and their new daughter, Silvie access to the best quality produce as well as providing these foods to their local community.
Before becoming a mother, Carol worked in the natural food business for several years. The first Real Food Company shop was in Congleton, and was designed with facilities for combining motherhood and the running of a natural food business. Baby Silvie was a popular member of the team!
After several years, it was decided to leave Congleton and open a shop in their present location in Alsager, where they have been since 1997. A number of years ago the next door shop became available and so a doorway was knocked through to double the size of the retail space. In 2016 the business was able to acquire the whole building, the upstairs space offers room for much needed administration, a meeting room and practitioner space.
In the early days, Carol, Nick and Silvie followed a varied whole food vegetarian diet, and experimented using all the produce in their shop. It was and still is their belief that good food should provide all that is necessary to be healthy. The shop was a traditional whole food store, with a great range of veggie and vegan foods as well as herbal remedies. As time passed a range of dietary supplements were introduced, as it became clear that many people needed this kind of support to help them move towards optimum health. Carol and Nick spent whatever free time they had reading and researching about food and nutrition.
In 2002, as a result of their research of nutrition, Carol and Nick came across the work of Dr. Weston A. Price. His work was interesting, but very controversial to them at that time, especially as it advocated eating more animal products, including meat, but, very importantly, only from naturally reared pasture fed healthy animals. Carol and Nick were, of course, vegetarian!
Many months of reading and thinking followed. It eventually became clear that for them to be able to have a truly nutrient dense, wholesome, healthy diet, where they didn't need to rely on supplementation to ensure all their nutritional needs were covered, they needed to try going back to eating meat.
They knew they were fortunate and had access to really high quality pasture fed and organically reared meat from local farms. This was not an easy step to take, and it took a while to adjust emotionally, but their energy levels and general state of health were greatly improved.
This change opened up a whole new angle for the shop. The Real Food Company ceased being a purely vegetarian establishment, and began adding high quality locally reared organic and pasture fed animal products to their expanding range.
The book “Nourishing Traditions”, written by Sally Fallon Morell with Mary Enig, provided them with huge inspiration and ideas. All grains were soaked prior to cooking, bread was sourdough and unusual cultures came into their lives like kefir, kvass and kombucha.
In 2010 they took a course learning how to ferment foods with the master of fermentation,Sandor Katz. Here they learned the art of fermenting vegetables, fruits and dairy products to naturally preserve them, but more importantly to enhance their nutritional value and digestibility. Fermented foods are known to be a rich and diverse source of beneficial micro-organisms, enzymes and bio-available nutrients. Since then they have been passionately sharing these skills through workshops, talks and demonstrations, as well as just through conversation in the shop.
Also in 2010, after living and working in Scotland, Silvie chose to join the business full time, making this a real family affair. Silvie brought a new energy to the business, setting up social media pages and encouraged more of an online presence with a website. She entered the business into the national Natural Lifestyle Retailer of the Year competition in 2012, and thanks to the support of their customers, they won! This is the only time The Real Food Company has ever entered anything like this.
Since then the business has gone from strength to strength, and now regularly interacts with customers all over the UK and into Europe. The Real Food Company began posting out orders in 2013.
The Real Food Company's team have continued to explore and develop their ideas on food and nutrition, including how to integrate thewe ideas into daily life. In recent years, traditional foods and their preparation techniques have become more mainstream. Time Magazine even gave over their front cover to butter in June 2016, and discussed the health benefits of properly produced saturated fats! Fermented foods and drinks are getting widely recognised as an essential part of a healthy diet. Science is now taking a serious interest in the microbiome and how it affects human health. The knowledge of how to support your own health and vitality through your lifestyle choices is growing. Science is showing what traditional cultures have known for generations.
Carol, Nick and Silvie have a wealth of knowledge and experience that they are happy to share and discuss.
There is a busy Facebook page if you would like to keep in touch at https://www.facebook.com/therealfoodcompany
Weston A Price Foundation
Carol and Silvie are the Cheshire Chapter Leaders for the Weston A. Price Foundation, and occasionally hold discussion groups and workshops related to traditional foods etc. They will also help people with ideas on how to access nutrient dense real foods, and give ideas on how to incorporate them into their lives.
For the last few years they have been co-organisers of an annual Weston A Price themed event at Ford Hall Organic Farm in Shropshire, where speakers are invited to share their knowledge and various workshops have been arranged to teach traditional food preparation techniques. This comes under the banner of Traditional Nutrition Today (TNT) and has a Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Traditonalnutritiontoday so you can keep up to date with these events.
Contact Carol and Silvie on firstname.lastname@example.org