Our Story

Alan Faulkner recalls the ‘history’ of Piggy Blinders

The sparking ember of an idea for a Hog Roast company lodged in my head, in 2016, while attending a spectacular torch led parade at a firework display in Chiddingfold. It was a chilly night that came to life with the lighting of our torches and a steady spread of flame passing over the heads of 800 people.

Many families marched in unison into the main village, with torches held high and with excitement coursing through us all. My children loved it, so different to fireworks in the garden and the disappointing fizzle of a half-hearted Catherine Wheel.

As we approached the village, I was in awe of the mountain of a bonfire we were about to light but then became conscious of the mouth-watering aroma floating above us. I spotted the food stall as we wound our way down the path.

Hog Roast! It was a hog roast looking spectacular with Hogs turning on spits,, smoke in the air and a throng of people already being served. I was so impressed with it as it was eventually backlit by the steady growth of the flames. There was something that ignited primordial feelings of sitting and eating around a fire that I didn’t forget. The food was delicious, and the crowd clamoured for what they were serving all night. I will never forget it.

The idea of starting my own company offering Hog Roast did not resurface until Spring 2022 when a chance encounter with my cousin, Lee, our Chief Hogmaster now, led to a rekindling of that desire created at Chiddingfold. Both our lives needed some additional purpose so we thought, ‘Let’s give it a crack and see what we can create’.

Our first event was at The Red Lion in Aldershot, a local pub, with a long history dating back as far as the 18th Century. A hired in hog machine, a beautiful hog from Mark Turners Butchers and some hard work ended up with a well-received event where the food went down a storm.

‘We can do this I thought’, and with a huge leap of faith, some hard work, and some Dutch courage from a wee dram we started to work on the delivery of the product. Hog Roast. We learnt during our initial months that it was not all plain sailing. I came from a construction background, a world away from catering, so made some mistakes, logistically but the food was always spot on.

Where did the name come from? Piggy Blinders, a great play on words if I don’t say so myself. Always catches people’s attention. Always raises a smile. It came from my fascination with Peaky Blinders and its central character Tommy Shelby. Always loved the period it was based in and with heaps of attitude, a huge dash of style and an affinity to some of the issues the Shelby family faced it hooked me. It hooked Lee too and on a night with a dash of whiskey and far too much TV, Lee, said ‘We should call the company Piggy Blinders!’ That was it and Piggy Blinders it was!

We registered the company, developed a Peaky Blinders style of dress, and got some bookings.

The real turning point, for me, was a private event, where I met a lady who had been personal chef to Queen Elizabeth II. She recounted stories of her majesty and how she how much she had enjoyed entertaining her guests. This skilled chef looked at me, as we ate, and said’ What you are serving is the THEATRE of the Hog and not just the Hog itself. She was right. People loved the smell, the sight, and the conversation created between those about to eat. All the senses are aroused, a spectacle is created, and conversation develops in a way that a barbecue or buffet can never achieve. It reaffirmed what I had thought that we were on to something different, and the Piggy Blinders style would only enhance the theatre of the hog.

And from there we were lucky enough to get the help of Rebecca with our marketing and the brand truly developed. Rebecca introduced us to her husband Ray, an award-winning chef, who saw the potential for both the brand and the food that we were serving. His dedication to quality food and exceptional delivery has become an inspiration and is certainly driving us forward. Alison joined us to help with the event planning and brought her unique style into the presentation as well.

We knew we had cracked the delivery by Christmas last year and all realised we could only get better if we applied simple yet effective strategies to our offer. They are working. Still early days but we will grow and continue to learn.

We have a clear vision for the future.

To deliver a premium, immersive catering experience, created with exquisite food and attention to detail, and served with lashings of style, love, passion, and humour, that stays long in the memory.

We are doing that now and we will continue to improve and will become a name that will be associated with Hog Roast for years to come.

Come and join us at event and you will see what I mean!

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