I started this Blog and Missie Cindz (AKA my foody partner in crime and alter-ego) at the end of 2010 after finally feeling the need to share my food experiences with everyone, whether I knew them or not. Blogging wasn’t something I knew much about and it wasn’t until one of my explorations at a Sheffield’s Farmer’s Market in Nether Edge, where I discovered a connection with food and the local community. I’d never been to a Farmers’ market until then and I was really moved and wrapped up in the variety of artisan food on display that day – our city had so many talented producers, chefs, hard working farmers and restauranteurs! – I hadn’t heard of them until then, and that’s when I thought others should know about these guys too – and it’s how this colourful Blog’s come about.
I’ve never been a fab writer (I got a B in GCSE English and I was really chuffed with that!) but I like to try new things and I enjoy sharing ‘worthwhile’ things with others – sharing information and knowledge should be something that we should do more of – don’t ever be afraid to ask or to share information, that person you share it with will be grateful, afterall you wouldn’t have known yourself it hadn’t of been that some one who taught or shown you in the first place.
Working full-time as a Creative Designer I’m always looking out for things that inspire me, currently I’m meeting a lot of new people and hearing interesting food stories, which has lead me to a new hobby, which is in food. It’s not surprising though – my parents ran a Chinese takeaway Pak Hoo House on Westgate in Rotherham for 22 years! It’s still there (go and try some yummy food, I recommend the Peking Sauce and if you love black bean sauce, the Special Wandering Dragon dish is a must!)…The takeaway is still owned by family, but not my parents. So, I’ve always loved my food and spending the past 14 months ‘Fooding Around’ in my own personal time, particularly in Sheffield (or wherever my fork will take me) – I’ve been amazed by the variety of eating venues, food producers and farmers – some in which, I could also call friends too.
I’ve wanted to support many of them because with, my family’s background, I know how difficult it can be as an independent trader. So I started writing this Blog, but it’s not just through Blogging I’ve been able to showcase tasty food businesses – I’m always actively curating new projects and social campaigns which I hope will inspire others to also do something ‘worthwhile” to support their own city’s independent trader – there is still so much to do and so many good artisans that deserve showcasing.
Below’s an outline of some of the activities I’ve been up to in the past 14 months – and I hope they help spur ideas in how you could do something similar – if you’re interested in doing something for your local area, give me a tweet and I’ll see if I can help.
- Last year during Sheffield Food Festival Week, I’ve organised and curated a Sheffield Food Challenge which involved over ten different Sheffield food producers, each offering something tasty and unique. The food week was really interesting and challenging but it helped to create a lot of awareness for the indie food businesses right on our door step – see the post: Missie’s Food Week Menu Plan – It took months of research of local food producers and growers – I started visiting my local farmer’s markets more than just once or twice a month. I started developing relationships between farmers and other local eaters, I realised that this is more than just eating local (Sheffield) to prove I can do it. I did have to extend my research to Yorkshire for some items but eventually I was able to draw up a full menu of meals.
- Missie Cindz Pud Inn at the Rutland Arms – I’ve been told this is Sheffield’s sweetest toothed open dining club, and it’s where the only thing on our menu are puddings! Here, attendees spend an afternoon enjoying a five course of genuine works of genius by some of the city’s finest foodies – our past pud makers have included Mike Smith, head-chef at the Rutland Arms, Yee Kwan Ice Cream, PJ taste, artisan cake-maker Victoria Made and more….plus, we’ve had my aunty Tracey too who isn’t a professional cake maker but truly enjoys baking in her own time. I’m in the process of planning our 3rd meet-up on Saturday 3rd March – sugar sweats or not, Sheffield is definitely one fine sweet city!
- Missie Cindz collaborations – Sheffield Plum Jam and Food Hampers
– PJ Taste, Our Cow Molly, Yee Kwan Ice Cream, Kelham Island Brewery, Henderson’s Relish – these are all names we see every day, and they’re all ours – uniquely Sheffield. By buying from local food producers we support independent businesses, our friends and neighbours, and ultimately our city. Collaboration’s key for personal and business development – we can’t and shouldn’t know everything! I began meeting a group of small independent businesses and saw how they were trying to find ways to save money while still advertising their food, shops and services. As a graphic designer by trade, Missie Cindz came about to help let everyone know about their existence.
- Use Social Media to be passionate and interesting about I do – Twitter and Facebook are two fantastic tools, low-cost, easy ways to post-as-you-go and has helped to give people an insight into Missie Cindz, our values and product & services. Yes, I admit, I am a heavy tweeter and enjoy sharing my food pics, design ideas and current WIP over on Facebook and Instagram – I have nothing to hide, if it’s worth sharing, I like telling! :)
- I have manners and say Thank You – My parents’ bought me up on a plateful of pleases and thank yous, so I always try to respond when people get in touch with me. You’ve taken the time to show interest in me and my services/products, so the very least I can do is reply. It’s even harder nowadays with lots going on, and every day more and more people are getting interested in what I’m up to but if you do make contact, I will try my best to reply with a hello :)
So there you have it, food is never far from my creative mind – I’ve been called a Gastro-nutter by Sheffield’s Toast Magazine and a ‘Foodie Queen’ by Sheffield based caterers, PJ Taste :). I wouldn’t say that I’m always hungry or even greedy, I know some of you might disagree, I just genuinely enjoy being around home-made, tasteful ‘Good’ Food – and when you’re passionate about something you’ve created (like I am), things just seem to work out and piece together naturally.
Gallivanting up and down Sheffield on my smiley fork has proved a delicious experience and I hope you will experience a food adventure of your own too with a tasty story to tell and share! – I’d be interested in reading your foodie road trip.