Lisa Newsham

Our Suppliers: Freda's Peanut Butter
Name: Lisa Newsham
Job Title: Director

Nickname: Hubby calls me Loobyloo. Customers often call me Freda!
Time in role: 3 Years

Favourite part of the Job:

I enjoy travelling around the country to different food festivals and events. There’s such a lovely community of food producers. We’ve made some great friends and it’s good to get together, catch up and share ideas. And I enjoy spending time in the kitchen coming up with new Freda’s flavours. There’s so much potential. 

Favourite Food:

Hard to pin it down to one thing! I love Thai food. And in lockdown I’ve been making my own vegan chocolate. 

Favourite place:

Cornwall, the Ribble Valley in Lancashire and New Zealand.

Why I like V&M:

It showcases the absolute best of local produce. And such a friendly and helpful company to work with which is especially appreciated when you are just starting out.

Unusual fact about me:

I was a good slalom skier in my youth and represented English schools in Norway.

Which Freda’s product best represents me and why?

Ha ha! My family might have different answers for this than I do!!

Let’s say the Crunchy Original - a good all-rounder!!

Who’s idea was it to make peanut butter and how did it come about?

In 2016 Andrew and I had a trip to New Zealand to celebrate our 50th birthdays. We travelled around in a camper van called Freda. While we were there we tried some of the locally made peanut butter which was good - much better than the palm oil loaded offerings of UK supermarkets, and it got me thinking that maybe we could make our own! When we got home I started experimenting and we decided to make our peanut butter really different by using exceptional ingredients and interesting flavours. There was lots of trial and error and a few burnt out food processors along the way but eventually we settled on 5 varieties and launched in 2017.

What’s the strangest customer request you’ve had? 

Well, not many requests but we could write a book of the weird and not so wonderful suggestions we’ve had of how to eat peanut butter. One guy said he gets 2 slices of toast, spreads peanut butter on one piece and lemon curd on the other than sandwiches them together with a tin of mashed sardines!

If you knew then what you know now what would you do differently?

I worked in our family restaurant business up in Lancashire for 25 years! And I did enjoy it but wish I had had the confidence to start my own business years ago. I met Andrew 12 years ago and I wouldn’t have done any of this without him. 

As a family business how do you balance work and family life?

It’s difficult to set time aside when you run your own business. In normal times we are away at events most weekends and now that we have our online shop that needs attention every day. But when we get a day off we try to do something special. Not too extravagant just a lovely walk or bike ride and a picnic. We try to have a holiday in the New Year and we go up to Lancashire to visit our family as often as possible. That’s been the most difficult part of lockdown being so far away and not being able to see them at all.  

Dream job?

Food and travel writer. But I’m also very happy doing what I’m doing.

Covid 19 specific question- what’s the most positive thing you will take away from this time?

We moved house in October to a run down little cottage on the moors. We have managed to do far more to it than we had hoped because we’ve had a lot of free time, so it’s now lovely and clean and cosy. And we’ve got to know our neighbours; we are surrounded by wonderful people. But I hope going forward that we will just continue to appreciate where we live, not push ourselves too hard, stay healthy and enjoy what we have.

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