Samuel Groves is a leading British cook and bakeware manufacturer. Few suppliers of hospitality products go back as far. This venerable Birmingham-based manufacturer of kitchen equipment started in 1817, initially making brass candlesticks.
We caught up with the team at Samuel Groves to talk sustainability, surviving a pandemic, future plans and lots more...
Samuel Groves has been established for almost 200 year now. Can you tell us some more about the early years and how the company grew?
One of the key resurgences or transitions for Samuel Groves was in the war and post war eras. In war time, we were commissioned to manufacture products. Post war, the company realised they had equipment that could be modified to produce cook and bakeware, and here a new chapter began, and Mermaid Bakeware emerged. There was a huge demand to bake from home.
During the 80's and 90's the company moved to the catering market for volumes, as the domestic market had transitioned to a throwaway culture, demanding cheap products that could be used and ditched. The catering market, however, demanded products that lasted.
The overriding trend in the 2020's is a move back to the domestic market, as consumers are seeking products that are designed to last, akin to those products produced by Samuel Groves. The advantage we have is that our product design is the best, as it has been influenced by top chefs.
How many people does the brand now employ?
In the region of 100.
All of your design and manufacturing remains in Birmingham - do you think this has been an important aspect of the brand's growth?
Yes, the carbon footprint of products has become a major decision when investing in quality products. Not only are our products made in the heart of England, but they are also designed to be a one-off purchase, that you can use forever. We trust that consumers come back and add to the range, and we do see this time and time again.
Classic Stainless Steel Tri-Ply Casserole Pan & Lid. The premium versatile pan guarantees the best results every time you cook. With straight, high sides and wide base can accommodate a larger volume of ingredients, and the Casserole Pan with Lid is perfect for making casserole, slow-cooked stews, roasts as well as soups and chicken broth.
Did you notice any shift in the buying behaviour of consumers during lockdown?
During lockdown people had more time and embraced baking and more adventurous cooking. Families locked at home used cooking as a social event to be together and explore new cuisines and techniques. Consumers had more time to cook and were more interested in the food they consumed (and if it was local or at least UK produced). We believe consumers moved away from convenience food and began to cook from scratch. Samuel Groves, as a Birmingham based manufacturer, has also benefitted from the move to buy local/not imported as well as the resurgence of home cooking/cooking together.
Can you tell us about what Samuel Groves is doing to ensure you produce as sustainably as possible?
This is of paramount importance to the company, and a consideration at every stage. There are a number of things; the company has invested in LED lighting, we utilise our own waste materials in our cast iron production, our packaging is made from sustainable sources and can be recycled, wherever possible we've eliminated plastic packaging (for example we've recently stopped bagging our bakeware in plastic bags and moved to recycled paper bags), our products have lifetime guarantees - we manufacture robust products, designed for a lifetime of cooking - we advocate buy once, use forever. On top of this, our products are made in the heart of England, consequently all UK customers will have a product made relatively locally, with very few airmiles.
We are always looking to do more, not only to help the planet, but also to differentiate ourselves from our competitors who are among the main distributors of imported goods from Europe and much further afield. Buy local, buy British is currently what is sought after.
Cast Iron Skillet Frying Pan. This premium, well-engineered Cast Iron Skillet Frying Pan guarantees the best results every time you cook. The flat bottom and sloped sides of the pan allow for oil, sauce and other liquids to cook evenly. Our Cast Iron cookware comes pre-seasoned, which means it is ready for use without additional seasoning. With frequent use and time, the pan will develop a patina - the easy-release surface, making it virtually non-stick. So the best way to maintain the existing seasoning on your pan is to use it!
You've done a collection with Tom Kerridge who describes Samuel Groves products as 'Land Rover Defenders for the kitchen'. Would you agree with that statement?
Yes, we have built consumer business, based on our experience with working top quality restaurants and chefs in the UK. We listened to feedback and developed first class products that professionals want to use. Our products our built to withstand the rigours of commercial kitchens and we consequently offer a lifetime guarantee.
Coming back to Tom Kerridge, he chose Samuel Groves, as we manufactured in the UK. Tom was involved in his designs and consequently Tom replaced the pans in his restaurants with those of Samuel Groves.
What attracted you to work with Hope and Story?
You were developing a hub and community for consumers that like to support British Manufacturers.
This 18cm Copper Casserole Pan with Lid guarantees the best results every time you cook. With straight, high sides and wide base this pan can accommodate a larger volume of ingredients, and it is perfect for making casserole, slow-cooked stews, roasts as well as soups and chicken broth.
Finally, what do the next 12 months look like for Samuel Groves?
Increasing the awareness of the Samuel Groves Brand and ensuring every interaction is positive. We will move closer to becoming carbon neutral and continue to launch more exciting products.
Check out the full Samuel Groves collection here.
Valentine's Day is a worldwide celebration that falls on the 14th of February every...
Welcome to Hope and Story's Meet the Maker Series, where we chat with...
New Year’s is the yearly event of new beginnings. A global celebration...
As December approaches, the supermarkets are filling with tantalizing treats and people...
Next week is December, the most festive month of the year. Full...
Welcome to Hope and Story's Meet the Maker Series, where we chat...
It’s that time of year when you say goodbye to your summer...