Charlie Hicks joins the Total Produce Family
Charlie’s main role at Total Produce will be providing content for the new website Totally Local. Total Produce is really an collection of independent businesses that happen to belong to Total Produce and the site will reflect this by concentrating on each branch’s local provenance in terms of supply, customers and history. In the South West for example there is the splendid Growfair, just part of an ever expanding portfolio of the best growers and producers from the region. And of course some of the regions best chefs as customers.
Charlie is fifth generation of his family to work in fruit & veg. He started working for his Dad in Covent Garden in the mid seventies supplying restaurants and hotels. In the mid eighties he spent four years buying for various London companies in Rungis and in the early nineties went to work for an old friend, Gregg Wallace, at his restaurant supply company George Allans (nowadays Gregg has a rather different career). Charlie worked for Gregg for twelve very happy years, they had a wonderful time, at one point supplying well over half of all the London entries in The Good Food Guide (and eating at most of them). It was during this time that the BBC asked them to present Radio 4’s first ever phone in show called Veg Talk, which rather surprisingly, ran for seven years.
Charlie moved from South London to the Welsh borders in 2005. He knew and loved the area well , his wife has family here and before the move they were frequent visitors. They opened a greengrocers shop in Hay-on-Wye, more by accident than design Charlie fell back into restaurant supply as word got around and his plans of an early retirement went horribly wrong! Eventually they decided to sell the shops (by then there were three) and concentrate on restaurant supply, it was what he’d always done and where his heart really lay. Charlie decided to relocate the business to Bristol for two main reasons. Brilliant transport links and, much more importantly, because Bristol is the hub of the South West’s amazingly dynamic and ever expanding food scene.
For more information about Total Produce, please check out their website: www.totalproduce.com