The History of our Mushy Peas

How it all got started

Father and Son Frank & Douglas Lockwood started their own business called
F & D Lockwoods in the early 1960's.

At that time the production consisted of packing dried marrowfat peas along with a tablet of Bicarbonate of Soda into polythene bags. After purchasing this product the customer would then dissolve the tablet of soda in a saucepan of water and add the dried peas. The resulting mixture was left to soak overnight until the peas were rehydrated and these would then be cooked to give traditional north of England Mushy Peas.

 

There was one major pitfall to this product. Because of the length of time taken to soak the peas the customers had to decide whether they wanted mushy peas or not with their meal on the following day, to allow themselves enough time to prepare them.

 

 

Experimental stage

Doug & Frank soon realised that if the product could be pre-soaked then there would be a good chance that they could sell more mushy peas as people would then be able to make a decision as to whether they wanted them with their meal that day. As an experiment they decided to soak dried peas in washing up bowls and bag the rehydrated peas which they would sell from a store on Heanor Market. This proved to be very popular and they were soon supplying some of the wholesale markets. As the business grew the company moved into larger premises on Cromford Road Langley Mill Notts and specially designed soaking tanks were purchased to replace the washing up bowls.

Making a difference

 
Commitment to improvment

Doug and Frank still thought there was more room to improve sales. At this point in time the pre soaked product was going out at ambient temperature which meant the product had to be sold and eaten on the same day. How much more convenient it would be if some way of preserving the product could be found. After looking at different methods of doing this it was finally decided that freezing the product was the best way forward as most households now possessed a freezer. So in 1972 a Blast Freezer and cold store were installed. This meant that customers could now keep a packet of mushy peas in the freezer and have them cooked up within half an hour quite an improvement on 18 hours!

Quality assured

During the last 28 years we have moved to larger premises at Ambergate in Derbyshire and our factory contains the latest equipment to ensure that all the products we produce still give the same quality and value that we did all those years ago but on a much larger scale.

Lockwoods Ltd has continued to grow and new products have come on board. With the microwave now in just about every household kitchen it seemed a logical step to cook the pre soaked peas and deposit them into a lidded microwaveable tray and freeze it. This gives the advantage of a 3 minute cooking time and no messy pan to wash.