How Rutland’s Vivia Crump feeds London every weekend

Rutland’s Vivia Crump is well known for her delicious chutneys, which she sells from her stall on London’s South Bank (more about that here).

We recently talked to Vivia about the other side of her business, because the two complement each other very well. From her small kitchen on Rutland Enterprise Park near Oakham, she also bakes superb quiches and very special sausage rolls. She sells these alongside her chutneys on her stall outside London’s South Bank Centre every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Vivia has an art school and jewellery design background. A change in her successful globe-trotting career led her to realise a dream to run her own business. With support, advice and encouragement from her friends Lyndon Worrall and Ryan Clement of global event caterers Clement Worrall, Vivia was able to start working from Ryan’s enviable commercial kitchen at Wing Hall. It was there her chutneys first made a name for themselves. It wasn’t long before the South Bank Centre was mooted as an ideal venue to showcase her chutneys, with delicious quiches and sausage rolls to keep them company. Not an easy option, as there is a rigorous tasting and vetting procedure to go through before stalls are allocated by the South Bank committee.

Vivia’s dedication means she is on the road by 4am every Friday to load the van with her Rutland produce, beat the traffic into central London, set up her stall and bake the day’s savoury pastries. The stall must open at 12 noon. Friday trade is mainly locals and office workers, while Saturday and Sunday are more touristy. In summer the market closes at 9pm and Vivia will have sold countless free-range pork, chicken and vegetable sausage rolls (all with her chutneys baked inside). Her customers also enjoy Vivia’s caramelised red onion and red Leicester quiche, and broccoli and Stilton quiche, all handmade in Rutland using local eggs from Old Broody’s Farm, Tilton-on-the-Hill.

Vivia arrives back in Oakham around 8.30 on Monday morning to review the weekend sales with her team and plan the week’s production of chutney and quiche before hitting the road again on Friday. It’s not a 9-5 routine for sure, but it rarely is for small independents. Vivia appears to thrive on it!

The author:

Robin is the founder and head tutor at Rutland Cookery School. He also photographs anything to do with food, cycles, goes fishing and has two grown-up children. He lives in Oakham.