Trader Profile-Worley’s Cider
Apple Day is only 3 weeks away, and we all know that Somerset Cider is THE BEST, so we caught up with Neil Worley, one of our longest standing traders to find out more about what makes him tick – read on for more from Worley’s Cider…
Tell us a bit about you and your business
I’ve been making cider since 2004, and the Worley’s Cider business has been trading for almost 13 years. We specialise in trying to make ciders that are enjoyable to consume, bring a modern slant to traditional techniques. Quality is always at the forefront of my mind and I never cut corners on the fruit I use or the processes I follow. Our ciders are always made using 100% fresh-pressed juice.
Where do you get your inspiration – what motivates you to do what you do?
Funnily enough, my inspiration to make cider came on a trip to the Spanish cider-making region of Asturias. The passion, traditions and nature of the ciders really inspired me to start making cider and I try to bring those qualities to my cider making here in Somerset.
I’m motivated by being able to be creative and actually produce something my customers love. It’s very rare in a job to have the opportunity to choose what standards you wish to apply to the process. My passion is to aim for perfection – unfortunately that can be quite annoying in other spheres of of life, but comes into its own when you’re trying to make decent cider!
Why did you choose to come and trade at The Frome Independent?
I had traded at a couple of Frome Christmas markets prior to the new team taking over nine years ago, and was impressed with the concept the current management team came up with when the monthly market was upgraded to the Independent. I’ve traded here ever since, never missing an event since we were awarded our current pitch, and think I’ve probably traded at around 80 Independents.
What do you like most about market trading?
I love the buzz of market trading. When we arrive in the morning, there’s a quiet calm over the area, with subdued conversations as traders slowly set up their stalls and renew their acquaintances – we all know each other quite well by now! The energy slowly starts to build as vistors arrive in dribs and drabs. Then, before you know it, the market is in full swing – a noisy, bustling melee of adults, kids, dogs, music, the smells of various foods and sounds of buying, selling and fun being had by all. Then suddenly it’s finished before you know it. Absolutely brilliant days every time.
Tell us about your own favourite or best-selling product. How much work goes into creating it, why do you think this is your strongest product?
Probably our most important product is our Special Reserve Keeved Cider. It took me ten years to get this cider where I wanted it to be, and it takes a tremendous amount of work as it’s very temperamental and literally every single process is carried out by hand, from pressing to bottle filling, and corking to labelling. It’s very labour-intensive but it’s all worth it as customers who know it absolutely love it. It’s also one of very few ciders to ever have been awarded a Golden Fork at The Great Taste Awards. This is probably the highest accolade it’s possible to be awarded in the UK food and drink scene, and I’m incredibly proud Special Reserve was recognised in such an important way.
What is your favourite Frome shop, or stall to visit at The Frome Independent?
I very rarely get to leave my stall, I’m afraid. But in general I absolutely love the Flea Market area where we trade. The stall holders and support staff are a great bunch, there’s a bit more space than other areas of the Independent, some brilliant food offerings and the fantastic Vintage Mobile Disco to jolly along the entire place. Oh – and somebody sells some half-decent cider there as well!
And finally, some quick fire questions….
Gregory David Roberts’ amazing rollercoaster of a novel Shantaram is a revelation of texture, colour and storytelling. It’s impossible to describe it – the only way is to read it.
Describe your dream day off.
I’ll answer that in the form of a joke: How you make a cider maker laugh? Tell them they’ve got tomorrow off!
What are you listening to right now?
PMQs – for my sins.
What are you cooking/ eating / drinking at the moment?
Right now, I’m enjoying an espresso from my trusty Bialetti stainless stovetop percolator. It’s over 20 years old and still does a fantastic job.
Grab a pint of the good stuff from Neil on Sunday 2nd October – Worley’s Cider will be down at the Village Green, near Frome Library.