So how did it all begin?
Joshua's has grown extensively since its humble beginnings 20 years ago. The business was born when experienced organic farmers Mark and Jude Essame returned to England after 5 years growing fruit and vegetables in New Zealand. They set up home in Ottery St Mary in East Devon and started growing and selling their own organic vegetables and flowers.
Jude, who was born in New Zealand where there is a strong tradition of home baking, then started the cake bakery. Over time the store side of the business has developed and although she no longer does the cooking herself, Joshua's still sells countless cakes and ready-meals made in their own kitchens, with many based on recipes from New Zealand.
What are the values behind Joshua's Harvest Store?
Our objective has always been to promote a healthy lifestyle that has minimum impact on the environment. We also take great care when choosing our stock. We support local suppliers and those with an environmentally friendly attitude. Joshua's Harvest Store now sells almost everything you can think of from cookery ingredients, local preserve, fresh fruit and vegetables and a delicious range of cheese, to household products, unusual gifts and organic beauty care products. Every item is carefully chosen using strict criteria and high quality standards. Many products are fair trade or organic and Joshua's chooses locally grown products whenever possible. We try to offer as many products as possible on our website, allowing us to share our excitement of food with even more people, and have plans to increase the range available in the future.
Who works behind the scenes at Joshua's?
The business has grown considerably and Joshua's now employ 30 staff across the kitchens, cafe and shop. Mark and Jude Essame own the store (pictured left to right in pic). Jude now runs the gift and homes department and has great fun sourcing lots of wonderful and interesting products.
Mark is extremely busy keeping the business ticking over and ensuring that we maintain our excellent reputation and standards of service. Terry (third from left in pic) our Store Manager, sources and orders the food products. This involves dealing with many local producers as well as larger companies,with the help of our other Manager Heather (far right in pic).Terry also manages the everyday running of the store. Roy is our Head Chef and with the help of his team he develops and produces Joshua's own tasty homemade foods.
A bit about Joshua's own products?.
A new kitchen was built in 2003 to expand the range of home cooked ready meals, which now includes several award-winning products. The meals are made without additives or preserves, includes meat from quality sources humanely reared and free-range, and fresh local vegetables. We address the modern day need for convenience, without compromising on the quality of ingredients. Products are made in the traditional way using healthy, pure ingredients, making them delicious and unique. Joshua's deli counter is also always stocked with homemade fresh pasties and pies, pick and mix olives, sun dried tomatoes and other delicacies.
Joshua's delicious homemade cakes are another reason to visit the store. The smell of freshly baked bread, scones and flapjacks is mouth watering. However, if you live too far away you can always buy our cakes online and have that lovely aroma arrive on your doorstep.
So is Joshua's a health food store?
Joshua's isn't just about healthy eating, there is also a strong emphasis on enjoying food, eating a varied diet and trying the more unusual delights. This is reflected in the regular e-news full of interesting information, food facts and inspiring recipes. Sign up to our newsletter here or follow this link to check out some of the previous Topical Articles, Hints & Tips and Joshua's Recipies. Joshua's Harvest Store is a true local store with a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. We are very different from supermarkets, and not as clinical and prescriptive as health store. We celebrate food and we value seasonality. We promote healthy eating, however we also know that everyone enjoys being naughty once in a while!