The Bannister Family has been farming the Yorkshire Wolds for over 100 years. Born into an old farming family, it was my father, Ken Bannister, who brought us to the top of the Wolds where our family farm is now, and Hilary (my wife) and I are still at the helm today.
A little diversity
An entrepreneurial spirit, mixed with a dash of risk-taking, a pinch of luck and that all-important hard Yorkshire graft has kept us going despite the general decline of the farming industry over the last few decades.
Back in the Seventies, in an effort to diversify and find markets for our own produce, we began washing and grading quality baking potatoes to supply to London's restaurant trade, as well as the famous Spitalfields and New Covent Garden markets, Borough and Western International markets. We developed a reputation for producing good quality baking potatoes and it was this that gave us the idea of stepping further into the food chain!
moving with the times
With the rise of convenience foods and the popularity of the microwave in the early Eighties, we spotted a potential new venture - cooking and freezing baked potatoes.
Farmhouse Potato Bakers Ltd was born. Through a lot of perseverence and determination from a husband and wife team, the company has grown to become one of the leading suppliers of baked potato products in the country.
the next generation
My daughter, Marie, joined the family business after, aptly, studying Food Marketing and Agriculture at Newcastle University. For my other daughter, Zoe, the pull back to her Yorkshire roots was too hard to resist and she turned her back on a career in the city and returned to the fold in the mid-Noughties.
A gap in the market
Whilst Farmhouse initially supplied the catering industry, when friends and family started requesting "more jackets please!", we soon recognised a gap in the market for a retail frozen baked potato product, which we decided to call Bannisters' Farm. We launched the first frozen whole jacket potato product onto Morrisons' supermarket shelves in September 2007 and it's been growing in popularity ever since.
Everyone here shares a passion for food and as much food industry experience as we have of farming and our Yorkshire Wolds countryside. Our aim is to provide good, wholesome food and with our products, hope to unite traditional values with the requirements of busy modern life.
We love coming to work, where we have a great informal working atmosphere, crazy busy working days and the chance for everyone to bring their new ideas to the kitchen table (so to speak).
And as our product range has expanded, so has our family, so here's to the next generation of Bannisters!