How it all started
Our founding duo, Adam Palmer and Zoe Palmer-Oates, discovered their passion for producing food whilst growing up on their grandfather's farm.
Upon taking over the family farm aged 19, Adam was determined to find sustainable, innovative ways in which to diversify. Little did he know the answer would be just over the hedge in his neighbour's field. Adam teamed up with his sister Zoe to launch The Honest Bean Co with the simple aim of making delicious, different things out of British beans.
We managed to grab them for a quick interview, asking a couple of questions about their childhood and what The Honest Bean Co means to them now!
SO, WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE CHILDHOOD MEMORY OF ONE ANOTHER?
Adam: I’m not great with early memories! I’ll let Zoe take the lead on this one! I have better memories of nights out when Zoe was in her late teens…
Zoe: My main memories of spending time with Adam are being on the farm – usually during lambing time. That was always my favourite time on the farm. Adam was always really good at letting me have a go at things our parents probably wouldn’t let me do. He taught me how to lamb a sheep, to wrap wool, to drive a quad, then a tractor and then a car. Adam had always been very trusting of people and he still is now.
DID YOU ALWAYS THINK YOU’D GO INTO BUSINESS TOGETHER? WHAT’S IT LIKE WORKING TOGETHER?
Adam: No I never really thought that we would as we always had such different interests. Zoe spent her 20s living and working in London and I stayed on the farm from being 19. We both really enjoy working together, we don’t always agree but I think that we compliment each other's skill sets very well.
Zoe: Not at all to be honest - as Adam said, I have been living in cities since moving to university. I love that we get to work together now and I have links back to the family farm. It means that I have plenty of reasons to be back at home and spending time on the farm. Adam and I work well together and have a lot of respect for each other, of course we drive each other crazy at times but we have a lot of fun and both have a huge amount of passion for the business.
WHAT’S THE MOST IMPORTANT THING ABOUT HONEST BEAN TO YOU?
Adam: Being a farmer first, creating a food and drink brand that’s grown here in UK soils and that champions British agriculture.
Zoe: I spent a lot of years working in businesses that weren’t really aligned with my passion for sustainability. When I got into my 30’s I really felt like I wanted to do something which meant more to me. Supporting British agriculture is very close to my heart and the amount of qualities the fava bean has is just insane, they are little nutritional powerhouses that fix nitrogen in the soil, reducing the need for nitrogen based fertilisers. When Adam came to me with the idea of making something with fava beans, it seemed like a no brainer!
HAVE YOU GOT A FAVOURITE HOBBY, FOR WHEN YOU’RE NOT WORKING?
Adam: Does gin count?
Zoe: I love pilates, climbing, cycling and yoga. I have recently been inspired by Matilda at Bristol Girl Surf Club (we actually just interviewed her, have a read here) so I’m going to have a go at surfing at The Wave this year. Of course, I also love food. We have recently moved to Bristol and we are slowly exploring all the amazing restaurants that it has to offer. Our favourites so far are Poco Tapas, Bravas and Muino. We also have the best wine bar in our neighbourhood (CAVE.) so I find myself there when I can 😉