Geldeston pickles business revitalised after fire

More than a year-and-a-half ago she watched part of her business go up in flames.

But this weekend Mandy Harrison, of Geldeston, near Beccles, will see her farm shop 'rise like a phoenix' as she officially unveils her new kitchen.

Mrs Harrison, of Dunburgh Farm, saw her tackroom destroyed in a fire in November 2010. The fire prompted her late husband, Paul, to suggest that she could create a kitchen for her pickle business, and after much hard work she is now ready to open.

'When I think of what it was and what it is now, I am so excited. It is a new chapter,' said Mrs Harrison, 42.

'I lost my husband at Christmas with a brain tumour and it is a shame he did not see this.'

The two had run the farm, which is a Natural England Site of Special Scientific Interest, for 15 years before he died.

Today Mrs Harrison continues to run the farm, farm shop and makes 400 varieties of chutneys, mustards, marmalades and pickles under the name Mandy's Pickles.

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It was this business that Mr Harrison had encouraged her to grow on the night of the fire. The two had lost about �6,500 of stock, and although production has been impacted ever since she has grown her business – even winning a silver certificate in The World's Original Marmalade Awards earlier this year.

'The business has gone from strength-to-strength. They say we are in a recession but we are doing really well,' she said.

Mrs Harrison has had help from her father, Ivan Purllant, and friend Tammy Kelsey to continue the business and tomorrow they will stand proudly by for the launch.

The official opening will take place at 2pm with chutneys, jams and marmalades available to test. There will also be a raffle and traditional games supported by the Friends of All Hallows Hospital, Ditchingham.

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