Interview with Muddy Boots Real Foods
January 06 2011 16:16
Being an ethical beef farmer
In December 2008 Miranda and Roland Ballard left their London lifestyle and careers to fulfil a dream of setting up a company in the country. Muddy Boots Real Foods supplies ethically farmed Aberdeen Angus beef cuts and burgers to homes, local farmers’ markets and delicatessens.
Their philosophy is to keep it simple. They believe that using only natural, premium cuts of meat, with no nasties, is the key to producing a nutritious, versatile and convenient meal for the home, which deserves to be celebrated.
Starting the hard way, by selling at over 350 farmers market stalls, led to a slot on a television series and a major proposal. They are now very excited to offer a home delivery service and burgers on the shelves in 10 Waitrose across the UK!
1. What was the deciding factor that made you want to start Muddy Boots and why?
It was a combination of such a strong dream of being self-employed (and working together) and realising we had the amazing resource of Roland’s father’s herd of Aberdeen Angus and wondering why this beef isn’t used for convenience food already.
2. What has been the most difficult career choice you have had to make so far?
Stopping the production of ready meals. All the interest was in the burgers and there’s so much more we do in marketing our beef in the form of the burger – but we had about £2000 of ready meal packaging. That stung… but we’d have lost more than that if we’d try to carry on with them to the detriment of what we wanted to do with the burgers.
3. What has been the highlight of your career to date?
Seeing our burgers on the shelf in Waitrose was truly the most incredible feeling ever. To have their backing is just amazing. Watching ourselves on BBC One’s High Street Dreams was definitely the most surreal and exciting.
4. What is your favourite thing about running Muddy Boots?
Working together, and working entirely towards our own future and dreams of succeeding in this venture.
5. What is the one thing about your job which makes you angry?
How much horribly (poorly) processed beef there is still in the UK. It makes us feel sick, we wish we didn’t know about it actually!
6. Describe your job in three words:
Terrifyingly exhaustingly perfect
7. Who was your role model when you were younger?
Both of us reckon it’s our dads. Both self-employed, hard-working, selfless, modest gentlemen, who are really well respected and give us great advice and guidance.
8. If someone was to write your biography, what do you think the title should be?
High highs and Low lows
9. If you could travel back in time to one moment in your life, what would you change?
Not a single thing. We made the decision based on what we knew at the time and we can’t change that.
10. Who was the last person you spoke to on the phone and what was the conversation about?
The last person was a lovely regular of ours, called Aysa. She’s a British Airways air traffic controller and she loves to order our burgers so she has something in the freezer for an easy but nutritious quick meal when she gets home at odd ours after long shifts. I’m delivering some of our Christmas Special burgers (Camembert and cranberry flavour) tomorrow because she liked the sound of them.
11. What is the one thing you could not live without?
Each other (awwww)
12. And now for some quick picks (please highlight your preferred choice):
Meat or Vegetables
Sweet or Savoury
Water or Wine
Work or Play – finally finding the most sensible balance between the two
To check out the full range of organic beef burgers available from Muddy Boots and to see what Miranda and Roland are up to today visit their website at www.muddybootsfoods.co.uk
Being an award-winning illustrator
Growing up in north London, and starting out as a labourer, Patrick Morgan has worked against the odds to become one of Britain’s leading illustrators. Patrick...
Being Chief Press Photographer of the British Army
Giles Penfound has worked as a professional photographer since 1993 and was Chief Press Photographer for the British Army until leaving in 2007 at the...
Why are we doing this?
The great thing about being a design company are the insights we get into so many different worlds, through the people that we meet and...