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Fri 16 February 2018, 4:37 pm

With numerous artisanal food and drink companies setting up in Enfield, Jane Thynne finds a borough building on its historic industry ties and creating a food and drink hub fit for the 21st century

When it comes to manufacturing firsts, Enfield has definitely made its mark.

From dishwashers to weapons, the north London borough has consistently led the way.

But before technology took centre stage, the area was hailed as the 'bread basket of London' with a history of food production that can be traced all the way back to the
Domesday Book.

Today, Enfield is home to a thriving food sector that sees global conglomerates rub shoulders with a growing army of artisan bakers, distillers and brewers, all
choosing to make their base here.

One of the oldest and most successful is Wright's Baking.

For more than 150 years, the family owned company – now the only flour mill in London – has been growing and grinding wheat on the banks of the River Lea.

A spokesperson for the firm, known affectionately as 'Deb the Bread', says the Wharf Road location certainly contributed its success.

"Originally the river played a huge part, not only in transportation but powering the water wheels. The location is just as important today thanks to the easy
access to London, the M25 and the wider road network."

The company, which has recently opened a second plant in nearby Brimsdown, acknowledges that the changing nature of the country's population and eating habits have meant the miller has had to adapt its offer.

"People now want all kinds of breads," says Deb. "One of our bestselling flours is for pizza dough and we do a fine, fine flour for chapattis. We also make focaccia and rosemary and ciabatta breadmaking kits for home use too."

Another producer keen to build on already established links with the borough is Rahul Mulchandani, owner of Enefeld Brewery.

The company – home to a SIBA award-winning pale ale – even pays homage to the area's past by using the town's original spelling.

And if it's a local brew you are looking for, then you can’t get more local than Enefeld’s products which are made from mineral water sourced from a borehole on its
Eley Road industrial site.

"My family has had a business here for more than 30 years,” says Mulchandani. "With its fantastic position it was the obvious choice. We are a small but dedicated
team and are passionate about creating a local brew we hope will be enjoyed by Enfield's drinkers.

"It's hard as many pubs here are owned by big brewers. But there are now two independent pubs in the area who are stocking our beers and we have been very successful in getting our brews into central London."

 

A longer version of this article appears in issue 9 of Opportunity Enfield magazine

Click here to get a copy

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