Based in Powys, Fiercely Fine is a family business which specialises in producing fermented foods, including kimchi, tempeh and kombucha cultures. Fiercely Fine sells their products through their website and at farmers markets as well as supplying wholesale to restaurants and delicatessens.
Owned by David Stoyel-Hastie, a chef of 33 years, and Sarah Stoyel-Hastie, they decided to set up the business in 2020 when consultancy work dried up during the pandemic. David, a sufferer of psoriasis, had noticed that his symptoms improved when he incorporated kimchi into his daily diet. So, their goal was to set up a company which specialised in fermented foods.
They approached Business Wales for support first and were referred to ZERO2FIVE by Cywain, another organisation which helps Welsh food and drink companies.
Support from ZERO2FIVE
Support from ZERO2FIVE initially focused on a market review of fermented foods looking at demographics, market size and a review of competitor products including kimchi, water kefir and kombucha. This helped them to establish the potential opportunity for their new business.
Fiercely Fine contacted ZERO2FIVE for further support in early 2022 when they purchased a dedicated manufacturing kitchen and were looking for help with HACCP.
ZERO2FIVE supported Fiercely Fine with the development of a HACCP plan for the manufacturing of kimchi and tempeh, looking at aspects such as process flow, hazard analysis and critical control points, establishing procedures for verifying the HACCP plan was working effectively, corrective actions, and production paperwork.
The business was also assisted with developing and interpreting the results of a microbiological testing schedule to determine the maximum shelf-life for their kimchi and tempeh. In addition, help was provided with theoretical nutritional calculation and legal labelling.
Co-owner David Stoyel Hastie said: “Working with ZERO2FIVE gave us confidence in our HACCP plan and that we’re meeting all the food safety regulations. We went through the HACCP plan from start to finish, word for word.
“The support also meant that we had a really good idea of how to evolve our HACCP plan when we came up with new products. It wasn’t just about the products we had but what we could do next.”
Benefits of the support
As a result of the support from ZERO2FIVE, Fiercely Fine secured a food hygiene rating of five from Environmental Health, finalised their product labels with a guaranteed shelf life, were awarded a Green Goal Award for sustainability, and launched their products successfully at Abergavenny Food Festival in September 2022.
Sarah and David Stoyel Hastie, co-owners of Fiercely Fine said: “We wouldn’t hesitate in working with ZERO2FIVE. Whether you’ve got a little or a lot of food safety knowledge, we would just get in touch. There are so many areas in which they can provide support.”
“We can’t rave enough about how much ZERO2FIVE have helped us. Our business wouldn’t be where it is without their support, we are truly grateful.”