HND Hospitality Management student, Claudia Yap, has developed ‘Mr Jamaican Jerk Pork Stratchin’ under the brand Claudia’s Kitchen UK. The product is available in The Hub, a new £11m business and sports venue in Walsall, which officially opened to the public on Saturday 26th September.
The recipe is inspired by jerk flavours originating from Jamaica, Claudia’s native country, and pork scratchings, which are thought to have originated in the Black Country.
Claudia, 52, who has previously worked as a chef and successfully run her own takeaway business, came up with the recipe when she saw a gap in the pork scratchings market, which is worth around £28 million.
She said: “Every time I visited Jamaica and came back to the UK, it always struck me that there are so many popular products seasoned with jerk spice over there that aren’t available in the UK. That’s when I thought I would put my experience as a chef to use and see what I could come.
“Once I had a recipe that I was happy with, I teamed up with a local producer and created a batch of samples. I’m delighted that The Hub was the first to purchase the product as they’ve given me a lot of support with my business. I’m now also in talks with a number of wholesalers, pub chains and independent stores in the borough who are looking to trial the snack in their venues.”
Explaining how she created the product, Claudia said: “It’s double cooked and is high in protein. It’s not over spiced but has a little kick and is full of flavours. I recently launched it at the Birmingham Independent Food Fair where I had a lot of really positive feedback.
“The support from the college has been incredible. I have joined a new programme for entrepreneurs at The Hub and have an incubation unit there where I am getting the mentoring I need to grow the business, so hopefully this is just the beginning!”
Claudia has signed up to a new 10-week Connect programme launched by Walsall College to support budding entrepreneurs in the borough to gain the skills and confidence they need to set up and run their own successful business.
The Connect programme is delivered in partnership with organisations including Santander, Design BP and Sweda. Members joining the programme will benefit from workshops covering a range of topics including generating ideas, marketing, selling and pitching as well as financial and legal advice from experienced industry professionals.
The opportunity is open to new start-up companies and anyone in the borough with an idea for a business they would like to pursue, looking for the entrepreneurial skills and knowledge to turn their business plans into viable commercial ventures.
Published on Sep 24th 2015
For more information or to join the programme, please contact Jane De Weijer, Community Development Officer 01922 688903 or Lee Bate, Business & Sports Hub Manager on 01922 651122.