A lot can happen in a year and James Smart of The Real Cure was eager to show his progress to Katharine of Dorset Food & Drink, me and Katharine’s daughter who was on work experience.
On my last visit, James mentioned that he was applying for a 60/40 grant from the North Dorset branch of LEADER (www.dorsetleader.org.uk). LEADER was an EU funded grant, which was there to boost employment, help businesses to grow or benefit the wider rural economy. The application form was huge and went into minute detail of the business. Happily, James was successful and hopefully if/when we leave the EU, something will replace this valuable resource for the rural community. The majority of the money went into modernising and developing a purpose-built preparation room, smoking room and two large curing rooms. Plus, a new packaging machine, that uses CO2 in a Nitrogen mix, which extends shelf life and as opposed to vac packing the slices are not crushed and stuck together, making it easier for chefs and caterers.
Then there are the jobs; James now has one full-time post, Amy, who is a production assistant, producing the wonderful cured meats. Two part-time posts, Laura, in the office and Caroline, who helps with production. This is a ‘real cure’ for the rural area, where employment is especially difficult to find.
The new staff gives James time to develop new products and to visit chefs and retailers. He takes his full range of cured meats, allowing you to sample each product and refine your trade packs to exactly your own requirements, allowing you to create that perfect sharing platter.
The Real Cure use Wild Dorset Deer, Fallow and Sika and Free-Range Gloucester Old Spot Pigs reared for them by Naomi Bugg to create their range. To find out more about these amazing pigs click here.
You can select from his many award-winning products:
Dorset Aberdeen Angus Bresaola
Dorset Chorizo Picante
Fennel and White Pepper Salami
Dorset Blue Vinny and Fig Salami
Wild Venison Smoked Port and Nutmeg Salami
Wild Venison Smoked Sloe and Garlic Salami
Wild Venison Chorizo
Pink Peppercorn and Purbeck Cider Pork Salami
He is also making an extra Naga Chilli version for the Chilli Festival this year.
So huge congratulations to James for securing the LEADER grant and creating three jobs in this remote part of Dorset, it is such a shame that this fantastic initiative is no longer available.
If you wish to become a stockist or you are looking to use some of James amazing products in your dishes, then give him a call today 07970 000681 or visit the website www.therealcure.co.uk.
Words and photos kindly supplied by our volunteer, John Grindle.