Tiptree plans to roll out its hot new crop

A GROWER and food producer has harvested its first ever crop of scotch bonnet chillies.

Thursday Cottage, at Tiptree in Essex, decided to grow the fiery fruit following its recent acquisition of the Jules & Sharpie brand, which has a range of chilli-based jellies, jams and chutneys.

Tiptree, which is home to jam-makers Wilkin & Son and Thursday Cottage, is already renowned for its abundant fruit orchards and strawberry fields, and fruit from these go into its products.

The company says that with several acres available for cultivation, there are plans to expand the cropping area for the chillies next year.

Measuring anything between 100,000 and 350,000 on the Scoville scale, which is used to gauge heat, the chillies are the trademark ingredient in the Jules & Sharpie range, which was started by entrepreneurial cooks Julie Field and Frances Hopewell-Smith, who originally based the business at Leiston.