Urban Herbs “pop-up” Herb Shop will once again be engaging your senses at the Monmouthshire Food Festival.
Andrew of Urban Herbs started growing herbs in 2010 while he was studying for his Masters Degree in the History of Religion. Studying and running a business worked perfectly together. He needed a means of paying his tuition fees and it meant that he could devote as many hours as he needed to run his business. His polytunnel also gave him a lovely environment to write his thesis. His love of growing herbs had begun a few years earlier when he was an undergraduate student. Let’s be honest most students love getting things for free – and he was no exception. He loved the idea that he could buy a small plant and grow his own flavour for the rest of the term at no further cost. As he got more into growing herbs he became fascinated by their shape, sense and form. Now his herb shops are a feast for the senses. He loves seeing the reaction of visitors – especially children to the wonderful smells of herbs. We are used to using only a few of our senses – whereas herbs engage them all.
Urban Herbs is truly a family business. All the family ‘chips in’ during busy times and he is sure that some of you reading this will have seen members of his wonderful family at events all over the UK. Andrew knows that he is very lucky to work with and employee his Mum during the growing season. She helps him with the growing aspect of the business (they are fiercely committed to growing a range of their own herbs) and she loves spending long afternoons in the polytunnel. They have a family of buzzards nesting near their polytunnel and they keep her company. Andrew’s wife and brother both help out with the retail side of the operation and get to go to some lovely places and venues to build their ‘pop up’ herb shops.
Urban Herbs stock the herbs that interest them the most. They delight in introducing people to interesting varieties of Mint which can be put into cocktails for example. They also stock a range of “traditional herbs” such as Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme. Attending many Food Shows and Festivals puts them in contact with interesting contemporary chefs who have lots of original ideas. They recently discovered that Chocolate Mint is amazing when used with Red Meat although it is also really good chopped up with ice cream. When Andrew got married in 2014 he put Lime Mint and Strawberry Mint in the Pimms at the reception. Apparently, it all disappeared very quickly!
For more information about the Monmouthshire Food Festival visit: monmouthshirefoodfestival.co.uk