Interview with Paul Thomas, The Tomato Stall
Describe yourself in a 5 words.
Passionate. Fastidious. Committed. Creative. Busy!
I’m good at…
Forward planning, cooking and flavour combinations, achieving the impossible
I’m bad at…
Taking time out
What’s your favourite location?
I love to walk in the evenings to find time to think, and always end up on the local beach. I’ve lived away and travelled the world, but my favourite place to be is right here by the sea on the Isle of Wight.
What are the highlights of your career thus far?
There really are too many to mention. The Tomato Stall has gone from strength to strength and I am extremely proud of the business we have created from such humble beginnings. Every week brings highlights, from finding our tomatoes in top restaurants to converting a tomato hater into a tomato lover.
How did you get started with The Tomato Stall?
Several years ago we took a van full of Isle of Wight Tomatoes to a London farmers’ market. Customers had never tasted fruit with that flavour before, and within weeks we had people cuing down the road to buy them. That was the start of The Tomato Stall as we know it today.
How did the name The Tomato Stall come about?
The business’ roots are at the farmers’ markets, and that is who we are – the stall that sells the best tomatoes!
How did you develop the concept for The Tomato Stall?
Over the years we explored any opportunity that came our way, which involved adding products to our offering and opening up new sales channels such as farm shops, restaurants and delis. As the business grew so did the size of the team and our level of strategic planning, and we’ve got big plans for the future! We are now available everywhere from our local farm shop to Occado, and there’s plenty more room to grow.
What are you working on at the moment?
After launching our pressed Tomato Cordial this month we’ve got a real craving for more NPD at the moment so watch this space for new and exciting additions to the range.