With a career in education and experience in catering, Bruce combined his creative talents to start producing hand-made mustards at Shaken Oak Farm in the early 1990’s.
“My experiences of English mustards when I was young were not entirely memorable. It was only when I started travelling to other parts of Europe that I realised the diversity of mustard and the different ways it could be used.
I was determined to develop some unique flavours that would appeal to the English palate.”
His first customers were family friends and these were followed by local shops, pubs and restaurants. Recognition of the quality of his mustards quickly led to local and then national reviews followed by Great Taste Awards and inclusions in regional food guides.
Shaken Oak Mustards were selected by Harrods for their ‘Truly British’ promotion in 2005.
Shaken Oak Products participating in the Blenheim Palace Food Festival, 2016
Bruce firmly believes in only using the finest ingredients in his products and no artificial components, colouring or preservatives are added at any stage of production.
He also maintains careful quality control by adopting a Food Safety Standard developed by Heart of England Fine Foods.
“I am involved at every stage of the manufacture of my products, from selecting the ingredients, making up the mixes, filling the jars, attaching the labels and also delivering some of the orders to customers. This keeps me acutely aware of all the potential hazards connected with food production and shows my customers that I take a responsible and personal interest in the family business”.
His ambition is to further raise the status of the condiment from ‘not just being a dollop on the edge of a plate’ but by devising new mustards, developing recipes and promoting mustard at shows and exhibitions.