OUR
PRODUCTS

Our range of products – fresh fruit, flowers, preserves, yoghurt, honey and gin – has developed organically from our roots as strawberry growers.

Firstly, jam. With our zero-waste policy, we started to use any less-than-perfect fruit to make Annabel’s zingy strawberry jam – a product that stands out amongst almost all other strawberry jams in the UK for being 100% British.

From jam, the Annabel’s range quickly expanded to include preserves – our strawberry chilli chutney is notorious – 

and, in 2019, we partnered with an historic grower in Yorkshire’s celebrated rhubarb triangle. Forced rhubarb is regional delicacy and, by bringing it into more homes, Annabel’s is improving consumer awareness whilst championing local needs. Since 2019, our range has grown apace to include bouquets of British flowers (premium daffodils), fresh produce including cherries, an extensive list of preserves, the products of collaborations with local yoghurt and gin makers, and – because if there’s one thing we couldn’t do without, it’s our bees – honey.

OUR STRAWBERRIES

Annabel’s Deliciously British strawberries look and taste exquisite. They grow from May to October on our family farm in West Yorkshire’s lush but rugged countryside, an operation we have been fine-tuning for over 16 years. We specify varieties based on the time of year, weather and flavour – only the best will do – and plant them over a five-month period to ensure continuity of supply.

‘Strawberry power”

Making every effort to be carbon neutral, we send any waste berries to our packaging supplier’s anaerobic digester – so our biodegradable strawberry punnets (500g) and cardboard trays (1kg) are produced. using strawberry power. We source inputs wherever possible from Great Britain, and are LEAF, BRC and Red Tractor accredited.

OUR PRESERVES

Launched in 2020, our single variety jam is in a class of its own. We use only Malling Centenary strawberries, the richest-tasting variety grown in the UK. And while virtually every other strawberry jam in the UK contains fruit from China or Poland, ours is, naturally, British throughout.

Made from our ‘wonky’ strawberries, it helps us achieve our zerowaste goal – but makes no compromise on flavour, preserving the quintessential taste of the British summertime.

Also launched in 2020, our chutney marries the sweetness of the strawberries with a discernible kick of spice – resulting in the ultimate chilli chutney. It is perfect as an accompaniment to savoury bites such as chicken or crispy squid, or as a garnish for cheese.

BRITISH BOUQUETS

Every year, daffodils fill Britons’ hearts with joy, heralding longer days and warmer months. At Annabel’s, we believe these iconic British flowers can be every bit as exquisite in bouquets and vases as they are nodding in sun-drenched woodland, which is why we have redefined them for the luxury flower market.

Britain supplies 95% of the world’s daffodils. Down in Cornwall, the picking season begins in December, while Scotland’s flowers wait until April to bloom — so the origin of each bouquet is determined by when you buy it.

Annabel’s Daffodils are grown in harmony with nature. This holistic approach supports biodiversity and soil health but also produces the most vibrant specimens year on year, providing the nation with the best of British all year round. The daffodil season runs from January to April. 

FORCED RHUBARB AND MORE

Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb runs in the Makin family – this rare and esoteric regional delicacy was first farmed by Annabel’s grandparents. The method of growing it has not changed since. Annabel’s Yorkshire forced rhubarb grows in complete darkness and is cultivated by candlelight. This makes it riotously pink, tender and sweet – typically taking around 40% less added sugar in the pan.

Our forced rhubarb grows in the heart of Yorkshire’s Rhubarb Triangle, a nine-square mile area of West Yorkshire that in 2010 was granted protected status as the home of a unique regional delicacy, joining the ranks of Champagne and Parma. The stems are available from January through to April each year.

HONEY

HOW WE MAKE OUR TRADITIONAL YORKSHIRE BLOSSOM HONEY

Bees are an integral part of strawberry production here at Annabel’s Deliciously British as they pollinate our strawberry plants each season. They also produce our traditional honey which is delicately flavoured by the strawberry plants and local wildflowers that they pollinate.

HONEYBEES AT ANNABEL’S DELICIOUSLY BRITISH

We started our journey as beekeepers to support bee conservation because, despite bees being an important link in the food chain, they are in decline. Now we have 1.5million bees across 22 hives on our Yorkshire strawberry farm.

“I absolutely love having the bees on the farm – watching them work is just the icing on the cake. And the honey we get from them is divine”.

In fact, our Yorkshire Blossom Honey is already award-winning, receiving two stars in the 2022 Great Taste Awards

But how do the bees make honey?

THE HONEY-MAKING PROCESS

From early Spring, honeybees travel from flower to flower to collect nectar and pollen. This nectar is stored in a honey bladder (or “honey stomach) whilst the bee travels back to the hive. Once at the hive the bees pass the nectar from their honey bladder to a hive bee.

Nectar transfer happens multiple times, during which it gets enriched with enzymes and other substances from the bees. The water content in the nectar is very high so this process is repeated until the nectar droplets have thickened.

Once the nectar has thickened to the right consistency the honey bees distribute it into empty honeycomb cells. These cells aren’t filled right to the top; by doing this, the honey bee can accelerate the evaporation process of the remaining water by constantly fanning its wings. 

Eventually sweet, liquid honey is created. At this point, the bees will cap the hexagonal honeycomb cells with a thin layer of beeswax which means the honey can keep indefinitely. 

HARVESTING THE HONEY

Once the cells are capped with wax this indicates to beekeepers that the honey is ready for harvest. This usually happens in late summer. During hive inspections and honey harvesting, we use smokers to keep the bees calm – and to avoid getting stung!

When bees sense danger, they release a pheromone called isopentyl acetate which travels through the air and alerts other bees in the hive to be ready to attack. Using harmless smokers interferes with the bees’ sense of smell and they can’t react to these pheromones. 

The smoke also causes bees to prepare to leave their hive in case it is on fire. When doing this the bees eat lots of the honey, assuming they need lots of energy. This makes it harder for them to sting and therefore safer for us to harvest the honey. We make sure the smoke isn’t too hot to prevent harming the bees.

Once the bees are calm the honeycomb can be removed from the hive. With the honeycomb frames removed, we can scrape off the wax (caps) and place the frames into an extractor. The frames are then spun, causing the honey to be released from the honeycomb. The honey is then strained to remove any remaining wax and other particles and drops into a bucket below the machine. Finally, we decant the honey into jars ready to be sold. 

TRY OUR HONEY

You’ll notice that the colours and flavours of traditional honey vary. This is because it is affected by the blossoms that the bees visit and is what makes each honey so unique. Our honey has a wonderful floral aroma and tastes mouth-wateringly sweet with a hint of strawberries. 

Ready to taste it yourself? Jars of honey are available to order for home delivery in our online shop. Or even treat yourself to one of our Honeycomb Frames, featuring 100% raw British honeycomb straight from our hives! 

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