If you’re into discovering British food producers of the finest quality, allow us to introduce Summerdown.
Nicknamed “The Peppermint People”, they grow, harvest and distil award-winning peppermint, pouring the oil into a range of products – from cooling bath soaks to velvety chocolates. In fact, they’re the only peppermint chocolate producers in the UK to grow their own mint.
The family-run Summerdown farm is based in Hampshire. It’s here that 100 acres of Black Mitcham mint grows. Once native to the UK, this variety was reintroduced to English soil once again by Summerdown founder Sir Michael Colman.
As well as the origin and ultra invigorating, fresh flavour of this special mint, what’s remarkable about Summerdown is their approach to farming. They take the utmost care in being good to the planet and strive to be regenerative. That looks like keeping soil nutrient rich and healthy; helping habitats like hedgerows and local wildlife flourish; and keeping the farm carbon neutral.
Summerdown is big on collaboration when it comes to their environmental work. They’re partnered with Plantlife, a charity dedicated to conserving wild plants and fungi in their natural habitats. The farm is also signed up to the government’s Countryside Stewardship programme and is involved in environmental research initiatives. Plus, like many of our brand partners, they’re part of the B Corp community.
Sir Michael Colman retired from one family brand built around big flavours (Colman’s Mustard, if you hadn’t twigged from the name) and ended up creating another one. During the nineties, he returned from a trip to America armed with cuttings of Black Mitcham mint and all the mint-growing knowledge he could gather.
In Hampshire, he and his farm manager Ian – aka the Master of Mint – successfully cultivated the tricky-to-grow herb over the course of a decade. It was worth all the hard work for the refined, intense and bright peppermint flavour you get from Black Mitcham.
Every single peppermint plant used in Summerdown products today is a result of those initial tiny cuttings Michael brought to the UK.