Our story begins at Willow Farm in Cambridgeshire. For six generations the Taylor family have been growing England’s finest potatoes on their Fenland farm. At age 15, Ross Taylor started to sell the family product door-to-door and in only a few years he had created a fully-fledged logistics business.
Ross and his father Basil were so convinced of the quality of their farm grown potatoes, that they tried frying them as crisps. The result was spectacular, producing flavourful, light and crunchy crisps. In 2010 Ross went ahead with his new venture; hand-cooking crisps using a traditional method. Since then, Corkers unique flavour combinations and quirky packaging have attracted much attention, scooping many awards along the way and the company has grown enormously, though we still cook in small batches with a fryer, (a human person!) on every line. Available from quintessentially English stately homes, National Trust properties, the National Gallery, countryside farm shops, pubs and local deli’s, to railways and airlines, it’s been a Corker of a journey.
Willow Farm is situated in the heart of the Cambridgeshire Fens. The black peaty soil, rich in nutrients, gives our potatoes a unique oaky taste. This is a result of how the present day Fens were created. During the last glacial period, long before any of us were here, this was a dense low-lying forest. As water levels rose, the trees fell and were preserved in peat bogs. These 'bog oaks' lay beneath the surface, undisturbed in the acidic bog conditions, until the Fens began to be drained in the 1700s.
As well as many acres dedicated to potato production, Willow Farm is also the location for our crisp factory. We grow, cook and package on the farm, offering low food miles and giving you the freshest tasting, crispiest crisp you will ever enjoy. As a business owned by arable farmers, Corkers is committed to reducing its environmental impact. Ross Taylor has made it his intention to reduce Corkers’ carbon emissions, increase recycling and plant hectares of trees.
At Corkers, we do things differently. To be the greenest crisps brand in the UK, we have to work harder, we have to trial new technology to increase sustainability and we have to keep a critical eye on our food miles. We use our own farm grown potatoes, the perfect frying potatoes, but we also source root veg from as close as we can get them. For example carrots, parsnips and beetroot for our Veg Crisps range, which need to be sourced as close as possible, but meet our standards of taste, texture and fryability.
We don’t want to blow our own trumpet too much, but our crisps have received 23 Great Taste Awards to date. Similarly, Corkers Crisps Ltd. have received several local and national awards as an employer, and for the factory’s production and food standards. In October 2019 Corkers were lucky enough to receive a visit from HRH Princess Anne, who afterwards described Corkers as “wonderful crisps” and “a delicious reminder of a very enjoyable visit.”
As well as being an award-winning company, we also hold two Guinness world records. One for the first bag of crisps in space and another for the biggest bag of crisps in the world, weighing in at 1.14 tonnes!