Charlie Fermor's apple crisps set to be a worldwide hit
Charlie Fermor from Perry
Court Farm with his apple crisps
by Tim Collins
A farmer who created apple crisps using produce from his
parents' land is set to net a fortune when he begins to export them
around the world.
Charlie Fermor's father Martin and mother Heidi Fermor own
and run Perry Court Farm in Bilting.
Charlie started his brand of healthy snack foods, Apple Crisps,
after buying a state-of-the-art drying machine from the United
The young entrepreneur turned a spare room in his student house
in Reading into a production facility, drying apples and pears to
be bagged as a healthier alternative to fried potato crisps.
In September 2009, Charlie returned from university to the
family farm to develop his business - using apples and pears
grown at Perry Court Farm.
His customer base quickly grew and he had sold more than 50,000
bags of the snacks in 37 outlets across the country - including in
the farm shop at Perry Court Farm - by the age of 22.
Charlie took a conscious decision to avoid the supermarkets and
sell directly to shopkeepers, businesses and customers.
Now 25, Charlie is hoping to take the world by storm, and has
taken orders in the 10s and hundreds of thousands from
Australia, China and even the United Arab Emirates.
About the rapid expansion of the business, he said: "I had a
house with a spare room at uni, and actually bought the dehydrator
as an experiment to create fruit leathers.
"That was unfortunately a complete failure, but the fruit crisps
really seemed to work.
"The main reason for avoiding the supermarkets was to build a
loyal customer base, to test the product out on.
"The dominance of the big supermarkets was something I wasn't
ready for, so the next logical thing was to start exporting.
"The rest of Europe has taken of really well, as has China,
Australia and the Middle East - anywhere that’s got a pre-existing
market for apples, funnily enough."
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