​Local Business Heroes – Tendring Fruit

Pressing otherwise-unloved apples into useful service!

Tendring Fruit grows fruit for the retail sector, but, like any orchard, they often end up with a lot of grade 2 fruit - still delicious - but too small, too large, or just plain too wonky to go to the super-picky supermarkets. Tendring Fruit refuses to bin these less attractive fruits and instead presses them into all-natural juices, bursting with tangy goodness.

Their award winning Braeburn Juice is a particular favourite of ours – so zingy and refreshing. If you have a slightly sweeter tooth the Topaz and Evelina Juice will definitely go down a treat. They’re versatile too – an absolute winner in cocktails, or just warm the juice and add some Christmassy spices and you have yourselves a gorgeous non-alcoholic alternative to mulled wine.

The farm has been in the Thompson family for 3 generations, since 1948, and was originally a traditional market garden enterprise, serving local wholesalers and the London Markets. In 2009 the company diversified into fruit and more recently into hydroponic glasshouse production.

Our part of the world used to be home to so many orchards and Tendring Fruit is really enjoying the challenge of bringing them back with the modern edge needed to make them commercially viable. The north-east Essex climate and the Tendring peninsula in particular is perfect for fruit growing, but the weather does throw the occasional curve-ball – for example, this year, when a late frost led to a shockingly poor apricot harvest.

Tendring Fruit doesn’t sell directly to the public, but you can grab a bottle or four of their amazing juices (and you’ll need to stock up – believe me, in my house they get drunk within hours!) from lots of independents in the area, including Oxley’s Deli in Dovercourt, the Wrabness Community Shop, Mistley Kitchen, Ragmarsh in Manningtree and the Old Crown Farm Shop in Messing. They are also stocked in an ever-increasing number of pubs, cafes and restaurants.

Tendring Fruit will also be at the following local events over the coming few months, so look out for them, and make sure you say hi!

15th October – Tendring Village Hall’s Local Food & Craft Market 9am – 12noon

22nd October – Halloween Craft Market, MS Society Colchester – Venture Centre, Lawford 10am – 4pm

3rd and 4th December – Jimmy’s Farm Xmas Market

17th December – Frinton Christmas Market in aid of Cancer Research, Summer Theatre, McGrigor Hall