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Entrepreneur form Blackburn brings home the bacon
A YOUNG entrepreneur who struggled to find work after getting her university degree is now bringing home the bacon.
Lora Margerison has started her own hog roast catering business, aged just 22. And, apart from catering for food festivals, birthdays, and anniversaries, she is giving traditional wedding fare a tasty twist, with orders flooding in.
She decided to launch Cunliffe Hogroast and Catering, named after the street where she lives in Blackburn, after graduating with an occupational therapy degree from the University of Cumbria 12 months ago.
She said: “Setting up the business was either an incredible, or a stupid, idea. I have got a lot of family support. One of our first hog roasts was a charity event for the Queen’s jubilee. We had more than 200 people come, and so we are thinking of doing it again this year.”
Lora turned to parents Barbara and Keith Davies, who have 170 outdoor bred pigs at Belmont Farm, Longridge. They also supply several independent butchers in Lancashire.
Farming has been in her family since 1904, when her great grand-father established Yew Tree Farm, in Coppull, now a milk processing farm. Her parents introduced pigs in 2010, and it’s the waste milk from this dairy which is fed to the pigs.
Her husband Brian’s family also run Margerison’s poultry farm, in Blackburn, which supplies chickens to her business. And her younger sister, Catherine, 14, also helps out making it a real family affair.
Following the horsemeat scandal, Lora and her parents are reaping the benefits of customers changing their buying habits to shop local.
“All our pigs are bred outdoors, so it gives them an extra layer of fat, which is great for crackling. My parents have noticed more people ordering pork as they know what they are getting.
“Hog roasts are getting more popular as it is something a bit different to a normal buffet. You can set up a marquee in the garden and it creates a buzz.”