Meet the Producer... Otter Vale

Ben Laxon, Managing Director of Otter Vale Products, tells Taste Devon about his flourishing family business

Producer Profile

Ben and Andrea Loxon Otter Vale

Where are you based?

Two years ago, Otter Vale relocated to Granary Court in Cullompton, after three generations of the Laxon family producing food in Budleigh Salterton.

What is Otter Vale all about?

We are a third-generation, family-run business with roots in making preserves and condiments. Our story started with my grandfather, Seymour Laxon. He set up a business in 1972 and sold it to Graham Worrall in 1979, who then created the popular Devon Chutney. When retired in 1995, my mum Christine (a lecturer in food science) and dad Jon (a businessman) decided to give it a try for a year. Almost 20 years later, they handed me the reins.

We are a team of five, including my wife Andrea, who looks after the training and technical side, using her scientific credentials as a vet, alongside food-specific qualifications.

We create chutneys, savoury jellies, sauces, marmalade, mincemeat and mustards, using local produce and suppliers where possible. All our current products are gluten-free. Otter Vale has won numerous awards from Great Taste, Taste of the West and Food Drink Devon, including being named Food Drink Devon’s Best Brand and runner-up in Best Producer 2018–2019 category. Awards are very nice, but our best reward is when customers enjoy what we make.

Where can we find your products?

As well as having an online store, we supply independent farm shops, garden centres, cafés, delicatessens and community shops throughout Devon and beyond, along with hotels, restaurants and pubs. Our chutneys are found in Waitrose regionally.

What are your core values?

People. Provenance. Passion. Products. Integrity. High standards. Think local, think sustainably. And we love what we do!

What makes Devon so special in terms of food and drink?

Ultimately, quality speaks for itself. In Devon, we can grow it, raise it, forage and fish for it, cook it, eat it and drink it. At Otter Vale, our products are created to exacting standards to complement this quality.

What are your future plans?

We are celebrating 40 years of our original Devon Chutney this year – a Great Taste Silver award winner in 2006. To thank our suppliers and customers for their support, we will donate to Devon Air Ambulance Trust and Westcountry Rivers Trust. Each jar and catering tub of Devon Chutney sold in 2019 will count. We have more fun and games planned, so keep in touch!

Otter Vale Products
Unit 2A Granary Court
Cullompton
Devon
EX15 1BS
01884 35000
www.otter-vale.co.uk

You may also be interested in…

Producer Profile

Meet the Producer... Wicked Wolf Gin

Taste Buds catches up with award-winning gin producers, Pat Patel and Julie Heap, whose business is booming

Read more…

Producer Profile

Ben and Andrea Loxon Otter Vale

Meet the Producer... Otter Vale

Ben Laxon, Managing Director of Otter Vale Products, tells Taste Devon about his flourishing family business

Read more…

Producer Profile

Meet the Producer... Jason Mitchell

You can’t go far in Devon without coming across Ashridge Cider. Director Jason Mitchell tells Jennie Cooper about this successful business

Read more…

Producer Profile

Meet the Producer... Pretty Local

Jennie Cooper chats to Andrea Wilson, owner of the award-winning Pretty Local online shop

Read more…

Venue Profile

Avon Mill

This former mill, hidden in the Avon Valley, has a thriving café at its heart, alongside a garden centre, gallery and boutique shop.

Read more…

Producer Profile

Barbara King

Meet the Producer... The Shops at Dartington

Taste Buds talks to Barbara King, MD at The Shops at Dartington, about the local produce on offer at The Food Shop and Devon Drinks.

Read more…

View the archive