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A chef who started his career at a Michelin starred restaurant and became a leading light in the food manufacturing industry has been snapped up by The Redemption Food Company.

Jon Ayres, a highly experienced chef who has led the product launches of everything from chilled ready meals for major retailers to bespoke chutneys for farmers’ markets, has been brought on board as the soup specialist’s development chef to strengthen the kitchen team.

Mark Crow, Redemption’s general manager and a chef himself, said Jon was a real asset to the company, which has just doubled the size of its production kitchen to meet demand.

“Jon, who worked in top end restaurants before making the move to high volume catering across many different styles of cooking and then the manufacturing industry, brings much to the table, helping to build on the success of our fresh Love Soup and Love Stew ranges. 

“As part of his role, Jon will ensure products are relevant to our customers and look to gain new custom through innovation, working on classics and identifying new trends. He will also utilise seasonal produce to ensure the highest quality.”  

Trained at Harrogate College and then as a cook in the Royal Navy, Jon’s started his career as a chef de partie at Leodis restaurant in Leeds, which won a Bib Gourmand while he was there. He then went on to the Michelin starred Box Tree in Ilkley, before moving to London to become a sous chef at the French fine dining restaurant 190 Queensgate in Kensington.

His first experience of mass catering was as sous chef at Ardoe House in Aberdeen, a country house hotel with a two AA Rosette restaurant and a 250 seat banqueting facility serving modern European cuisine. This paved the way for Jon to join Cathedrals in Durham, a collection of eateries, cafes and bars across three floors serving up to 600+ daily.

After this, Jon became interested in the development of products and became an account manager for Brakes Group’s M&J Seafood, providing fresh and frozen fish to caterers.

His first role as development chef was at Kerry Ingredients, supplier of sauces, butters and fillings to food manufacturers, then at Northern Food’s Dalepak, provider of frozen food to major retailers, where he led product development as the sole chef in a small team.

Before joining Redemption, Jon was a development chef for Greencore in County Durham, manufacturer of chilled ready meals to several major retailers including ASDA

- October 2013

The Redemption Food Company has introduced a series of flash cards to help operators easily and transparently pass on information about its Love Soup range to customers. 

The new ‘soup seller’ cards, which can be downloaded in digital PDF format and printed off for counter display, are a vital point of sale tool at a time when a rising number of consumers want to know what is in their food and information about ingredients.

The vibrant A4 sheets incorporate a description of the soup, price, ingredients, ‘traffic light’ nutritionals and allergen information and are available for every soup variety in the range.

The Redemption Food Company’s general manager and chef, Mark Crow, said information needed to be passed on in a way that didn’t slow down service or mean extra staff training. 

“According to the Food Standards Agency, although people in the UK eat out more than ever before, caterers do not provide nutrition and allergen information in clear, easy-to-use formats at the point of ordering, and, therefore, people often get more calories, fat, and salt than they realise when they make their choices,” said Mark. “Our new soup seller cards are clear and concise and enable customers to make informed decisions quickly and easily.

“They also succinctly get across the fact that Love Soup is made using the finest stock and only high quality ingredients to achieve an incredibly fresh, homemade taste.”

The 31-strong Love Soup range, which is supplied to operators in 4kg foodservice buckets that can be stacked up to 12 high for optimum use of fridge space, comprises light and funky soups to hearty and chunky broths and lends itself to all four seasons. 

Other Love Soup point of sale material includes banner stands, branded cups in 16oz and 12oz sizes and branded kettles. Caterers can also find out how much profit they can make from using the soups by visiting the website and utilising the margin calculator.

Trio of New Soups To Savour in Redemption’s Autumn Range -
October 2013

From sweet and earthy to spicy and creamy, The Redemption Food Company has developed three new varieties to bring an extra dimension to its Love Soup autumn line-up.

The new flavours, which sit alongside six other recommended winter seasonal varieties, are Parsnip, Carrot & Cumin, Mexican Corn, Chilli & Lime and Cauliflower and Parmesan.

The Parsnip, Carrot and Cumin variety in the homemade-tasting range has a sweet root veg flavour with an earthy spiced note, while the Mexican Corn, Chilli & Lime has a fresh lime tang with a spicy and creamy spiced note. The Cauliflower & Parmesan variety is a creamy, comforting hit of cauliflower accompanied by the salty tang of parmesan.  

The Love Soup portfolio is split into four distinct ranges, Simple, a selection of traditional flavours, House, made up of staples for different flavours all week, Special, something that bit different to add excitement, and Extra Special, a mix of more exotic recipes.

Parsnip, Carrot and Cumin sits in the House range, while the other two new varieties are in the Special line-up, reflecting the fact that six in 10 users like to experiment with new flavours of soup and appealing to consumers’ experimental side while enlivening the category.

Mark Crow, The Redemption Food Company’s general manager and chef, said putting together seasonal line-ups from the 31-strong Love Soup range helped caterers grow sales 12 months a year. “As a classic ‘winter warmer’, freezing temperatures do help to boost sales of soup, but with the sheer variety of Love Soup, operators can entice consumers all year round.”

By nature of their ingredients, texture and flavour, Love Soup uses the finest ingredients and has a fresh and clean homemade taste, offering time-pressed caterers a convenient alternative to kitchen-made. They range from the simple to the exotic, from the traditional to the funky.

The Love Soup line-up recommended for autumn comprises:
  • Tomato & Coriander - Lightly spiced tomato soup with a sweet coriander finish
  • Potato & Double Gloucester - A little hint of spice works wonders in this creamy blend
  • Parsnip, Carrot and Cumin - Sweet root veg flavour with an earthy spiced note
  • Mexican Corn, Chilli & Lime - Fresh lime tang with a spicy and creamy sweet note
  • Chicken & vegetable - Light vegetable notes with a savoury chicken and cream finish
  • Cauliflower & Parmesan – Creamy, comforting cauliflower with a salty tang of Parmesan
  • Creole Chicken Gumbo – Rich, deep flavours with a cheeky, spicy back note
  • Chorizo & Chickpea - Smoked paprika flavours with a rich tomato tang
  • British Beef & Potato - Rich and savoury, as comforting as your favourite jumper