Pegoty Hedge

Oliver Surman explains why his organic ready meals are so popular and why he’s excited to be working on the shortest food production line in Upton-upon-Severn when the new Warner’s store opens on 26th May…


After coming back to the family farm in 2003 I was keen to do something fresh and new that would add value to our existing produce, primarily our organic Aberdeen Angus beef.

That’s when the idea of creating meals using produce from the farm came about. My parents Peter and Annie and I are co-owners of the Pegoty Hedge brand.


When we set up we had no commercial experience but lots of enthusiasm.

Of course, my mother has had many years of experience feeding children, and I’ve always had an interest in cooking from a personal perspective but we did also get lots of help and advice from young chefs in the area. I’m also really interested in food provenance and linking all parts of the food chain together.

We try to create good, honest, hearty meals, that are unpretentious.

I’m a sucker for the old favourites – cottage pie, chilli con carne, lasagne. Our cooking isn’t about creating the taste of the Orient or bringing that fancy curry recipe back from your travels – we are very much about Worcestershire ingredients.

We know we are not absolutely unique but we like to think we do things a bit differently.

We’re organic for a start, but it’s all the extras that make us special – we make our own beef stock by simmering the beef bones for 24 hours and when we do a mash topping on our pies, the fork marks are created by someone actually standing there and doing it by hand. You just can’t get this attention to detail from something that comes down the factory line.

We now have a team of 10 but we still cook in the same way we always have, although our batches have got a little bigger these days.

There’s nothing mechanical going on – if you walked into our kitchen, you would recognise what we’re doing is very similar to what you do in your own kitchen.


We don’t claim that our ingredients come exclusively from a 30-mile radius or the three counties because that would limit us.

However, we do know the provenance of all our ingredients – having worked with suppliers for over ten years we’ve built up a good network of relationships.

We have a broad spectrum of customers.

There are the older people who like them because the meals are easy and they know what they’re getting. Then there are the people who want to know where their food is coming from and are interested in the provenance of the ingredients, but haven’t got time or the inclination to cook from scratch.

You can actually see the new Warner’s store in Upton-upon-Severn from our kitchen window – you can’t get a much shorter food production line than that!