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Sustainability Market – Meet the Stallholder

Chilli Gold

Ibukun Olajide and her husband have run Chilli Gold since 2019. This is a husband and wife team, who plant and tend the chilli plants, produce the range of Chilli Gold products, as well as running the markets and festivals.  We caught up with Ibukun to understand more about her business;

What does your business do? 

We are artisan chilli producers, we grow our own chillies in St Albans and make a range of chilli sauces, chilli seasonings, chilli mashes, chutneys and jams.  To produce our range we grow up to 24 varieties of chilli including the hottest chilli in the world, Carolina Reaper. The mildest chilli we grow is the Jalapeño chilli.  We grow the chillies from seed every year starting in January and we start to harvest in June.  To meet the growing popularity of our products this year we are growing 800 plants.

How does your business help the District become more sustainable?

We grow the chillies within 10 miles of our production of the chilli products. We utilise a disused space in a flower nursery in St Albans thereby reducing the food miles to produce the chilli products that traditionally will have a long upstream supply chain. We use a drip feed watering system to keep the plants hydrated and an organic seaweed feed to provide nutrients to the plants. We also utilise other local businesses such as vegetable growers for some of our recipes and packaging manufacturers.

Did you create your own recipes for the finished product?

Yes we create our own recipes based on taste profiles enjoyed with Chilli intensity such as savoury, sweet and smoky. People are surprised by the different flavours we create from our home-grown chillis as they can think the products may not be hot enough for their palette.  Prices for our range start at £3.00.

What is your favourite thing about St Albans District? 

I see Hertfordshire live up to its moniker as a county of opportunity, I have been able to set up a small business that is supported and loved locally and I am grateful for it.

What is your best eco tip?

Start small with what you have in hand, then build gradually and intentionally so your business does not become a burden to the environment.Why not see for yourself and sample some of Chilli Golds spicy selection at the next Harpenden Sustainability Market.

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