TV chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall opens Pukka Herbs' new Keynsham HQ
A company has celebrated the opening of its new base in Keynsham and invited celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall to do the honours at a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Pukka Herbs, which launched in Bristol 17 years ago, has now relocated to the Chocolate Quarter, opening its “Herb House” in one of the redeveloped former factory buildings.
Pukka, which produces herbal teas and supplements working with organic farmers and growers around the world, employs more than 120 people at the Herb House.
Chef Mr Fearnley-Whittingstall, co-founders Tim Westwell and Sebastian Pole and CEO Karel Vandamme were joined by more than 70 guests at the opening ceremony.
Mr Fearnley-Whittingstall said: “It is an honour to open the Herb House for Pukka Herbs, fellow West Country champions of organic and sustainability within the food and drink industry.
“I have followed Pukka’s journey over the years and it has been wonderful to watch it blossom from blending teas in Sebastian’s Kitchen to becoming a successful business championing herbs globally, whilst laying down permanent roots in Bristol.”
The Herb House boasts strong environmental credentials, using reclaimed timber in the refurbishment of the office and recycled materials to make the furniture.
Any furniture from the company’s former office that couldn’t be used at the new site has been donated to charities and organisations such as the Matthew Tree Project and the Soil Association.
The company donated £425,000 to environmental projects last year and Tim Westwell said: “We’re going to keep on doing our little bit to help make a big change across the globe.
“We will carry on championing the power of plants, shouting about organic, promoting fair business and doing all we can to help make the world a better place.”
Pukka was acquired by Unilever in September last year and new CEO Karel Vandamme was appointed in recent weeks.
The company – which sells its products in more than 40 countries – says it plans to grow in existing markets and reach new ones while also expanding its herbal research and education teams. More than 22 per cent of Pukka’s employees have formal qualifications in herbal medicine, plant medicine or nutrition.