Vince and Lin Adams started their business Adams Marketing Ltd in 1973, with a two-year-old daughter and another on the way. The vision was to offer professional sales and marketing to interesting local food businesses in the west country. There was also a dream from the very beginning to link to Europe, the USA and Australia to find and bring quality foods to the UK from around the world.
Their first major success was launching Realeat Vegeburgers, and this began a strong link with vegetarian food that has remained a core theme throughout the Adams Marketing and now Respect Organics story. The Realeat range was revolutionary in using soy protein as a meat-free alternative, sparking a sector in the market that is once again gaining masses of coverage under the Meat Free Mondays banner. And in the 1990s came the first meat-free bacon, Morningstar Farms Streaky Strips. Letters literally poured in from happy vegetarians who declared the one thing they had always missed was bacon.
Another early winner was Maynards Black Forest Gateaux (must be time for a comeback) and that was followed by frozen baked croissants direct from Dunkirk. This was before the days of Paul, Patisserie Valerie and Le Pain Quotidian. Most people only tasted such buttery, flaky croissants on their summer holidays.
After the hot summer of 1976 there was a massive potato shortage. Never one to miss an opportunity, Vince made contact with an American producer and so introduced the UK to the French fry. They caused a bit of confusion at first because we’d never had oven baked chips before, but a couple of years later McCain caught on never looked back.
Adams Marketing survived and thrived because Vince looked for authentic niche foods that would be innovative in the mainstream. Their mantra was always to ‘be first’. This included the first chilled Indian meals and naan breads, the first American bagels, muffins, New York cheesecake and ‘pints’ of American ice cream.
Vince has never been a frozen food snob and in the 1990s found a product that was ahead of its time. Just Pik’t fresh squeezed frozen orange juice was the sweetest orange juice you could imagine. Juicy Florida oranges were picked, squeezed and the juice frozen within a couple of hours, nothing added, nothing taken away. All you had to do was thaw it in your fridge and you’d have the same taste as when the fruit was first picked and squeezed. It’s hard to choose, but of all the products discovered, this takes some beating.
Here are a few more favourites:
- Tilley’s crumpets – these were everything you imagine a crumpet to be and nothing like the own brand crumpets you find in the shops today.
- Chocolate covered dairy cream filled brandy snaps… need we say more
- Green & Black’s Chocolate Dairy Ice Cream
- White Chocolate Gateaux
- Respect Organics
Vince and Lin worked with many fantastic food producers over the years and seven years ago decided to launch their own branded range of organic foods, Respect Organics. Their daughter Kate had come up with the name a year or so before and it now felt the right time to create delicious organic food that would still be great value.
The search was on for a fabulous traditional baker and Vince knew that the Yorkshire based Potts brothers were perfect. Potts Bakers was established in 1891 by Emily Potts. When her husband, John, died in his early thirties, Emily was left with five young children. To support her family she started baking at home and her children would take the bread and cakes to sell locally. The business prospered and outgrew the family kitchen, and the local squire agreed to build a bakery and shop, which still trades today. Roger and Andrew Potts now own and manage the bakery, where skilled craft bakers and quality ingredients ensure the high standards set by Emily continue today.
Once you try a Respect Banana Loaf you’ll know just why we work with this fantastic team of master bakers.
The full range of cakes is currently Carrot Cake, Chocolate Cake, Banana Loaf Cake and Ginger Loaf Cake.
In 2006 Lin turned to her lifelong passion for painting and turned the ground floor of their Shaftesbury office into a beautiful gallery. Lin runs the gallery with daughter Sam, where they paint and show words inspired by the organic landscape.
Lin and Vince aren’t green revolutionaries, as a family they’ve always simply loved nature and the countryside. As someone who always looks to the future Vince has embraced the concept of ‘future proofing’ and so was the first in the village (and probably for miles around) to cover the roof in solar panels and buy a lime green Smart car. He is also helping with the local Transition Town project, and appreciates just how complicated all the green issues are. In all honesty the Respect Organics cakes are organic because that way they simply ‘are what they are’, no compromise. What it always comes down to in the end is taste and good value. And you should see us demolish a ginger cake!