Thoughts from December 2006

cheese that


Last night we had the Cheese Off. In case you're wondering, the Cheese Off is an annual meeting of the innocent Cheese Club, where we taste the 12 winning cheeses of the year. Each cheese was expertly matched to a wine, beer or port, supplied by the amazing La Fromagerie on Moxon St. The winning cheese of 2006 overall was Comte d'Estive. Post cheese activities included Ben II playing some jamiroquai on the piano, Erin proving that she does have the voice of an angel, and Conor and Eloise's scarf dance.

kat's hats


Kat has just been away for the weekend to see her Dad on Hayling Island and took three balls of wool and a pair of knitting needles with her. She came back having learnt lots of clever knitting techniques in a symphony of blues (she's our designer so knows all about colour pallets and hues and that). Here are the fruits of her labour in the form of lots of woolly hats for Supergran.

Fruits of her labour. Get it?

business school

Some businesses start with vast financial backing, an aggressive business plan and a selection of hand-poached staff. Others start with a good idea and a simple desire to succeed.


There's a heartwarming story behind Misericordia's hero product, a simple vintage tracksuit. It is in fact the uniform of a childrens orphanage and school named 'Nuestra Senora de la Misericordia' that is situated in a dusty shantytown outside Lima in Peru. In 2001 a French student, Aurelyen Conty, was traveling through Peru with friends when he spotted the potential of the retro kit as means of directly helping the school and local community. Conty approached the orphanage's Benedictine nuns and proposed to market the tracksuit tops in his native France along with other designs he would create that could also be produced within the schools workshop for export and sale.


Five years later Misericordia is a highly sought after cult fashion label stocked by hundreds of stores throughout Europe, America and Japan. It has also grown into an extended catwalk fashion range producing around 15,000 hand made high quality garments every year all still made in Peru. With a generous percentage of the retail price going back to a specially established foundation, the company has been able to improve the local community's living standards and has completed work on 2 new garment workshops. Misericordia now employs 16 local staff who have been trained in pattern cutting, sewing and garment production and benefit from 25% higher wages than the average textile worker in Peru along with other unheard of benefits in this part of the world such has one months paid holiday every year, health insurance and no differentiation between the salaries of men and women.


Misericordia translates as "compassion". The children of the school and orphanage are still wearing the same tracksuit but are now in the company of the fashionable youth on the streets of Tokyo, Paris, New York and London.

If you like myspace Misericordia are here. If you like blogs Misericordia are here. And if you like videos and speak French watch this.

315 days since Christmas

Last Christmas we sent our family a small Christmas tree in thanks for buying our drinks and putting up with all our bad jokes throughout 2005. We've been pleased to find that come this Christmas some of those trees have grown a little bigger, healthier and hopefully capable of holding a few baubles and tinsel this year. Below is a fine example of a well cared for tree belonging to Gemma. Good growing Gemma.


This however is an example of how not to care for a tree by our Jon here at Fruit Towers. All we can say is that he has been out of the office a lot this year.


calling all mums and dads


On Thursday (7th December) we're holding a kids health workshop with nutritionist, Natalie Savona in central Manchester. Natalie will be talking to parents about how to encourage their kids to eat healthily (notably how to get them to eat their five-a-day), understand labels and what goes into kids drinks, and help you come up with menu ideas. We'll be holding two sessions (10 - 11.45am and 2 - 3.45pm) and if you'd like to come along, please email by 5pm on Tuesday for more details. Places are on a first come, first served basis, so don't delay.