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24 Jul 2023

Up 'n' Mellow porridge founder launching new instant product

Up 'N' Mellow Stand: 571g
Up 'n' Mellow porridge founder launching new instant product
Meet the businesswoman bringing home-style Jamaican breakfast to Norfolk
For Monique Branston, the smell of peanut porridge bubbling on the stove is a core memory from her time growing up in Jamaica.

Made from a blend of raw peanuts, oats, milk, and sugar, she said the traditional breakfast was her favourite treat as a child.

Unable to visit during the pandemic, she said she started making it to ease her homesickness, and quickly realised she wasn’t the only one missing the dish.

She said: “I’ve always been business minded and knew other people wanted that hit of nostalgia too.

“I did some research and learned there’s no peanut porridge on the market here, so I turned my house into a test kitchen and started experimenting with recipes.”

Ms Branston said her concoctions were made with whatever she could find in her local supermarket, and family and friends were the official tasters.

She said: “The recipes took some tweaking for the British palette, because we love it very sweet in Jamaica compared to what people like in the UK.

“Luckily my husband is from Norfolk so could advise me on that!”

As well as adjusting the level of sugar, the businesswoman said she switched cow’s milk for non-dairy alternatives, to make the range suitable for vegans.

She also decided to expand her offering beyond the classic peanut recipe, creating versions with cashew nuts, hazelnuts, almonds, pecans, and walnuts.

She said: “Changing the nut made a big difference to the final result, especially the texture.

“Almonds are harder, so the porridge is thicker, whereas cashew nuts are very soft, so they blend together very smoothly.”

Up n Mellow porridges are available to order online, and Ms Branston said the next few months will be spent at farmer’s markets getting samples into the hands of shoppers.

She added: “We’re still in the early stages but the interest is there from consumers.

“It’s an exciting venture and something different to other breakfast products, so we’re feeling positive about getting stockists as a next step.”

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