Henry Braham, Director of Photography, and Glynis Murray, Producer, met around 15 years ago, when filming together. Something they still do – their latest film is Everybody’s Fine, with Robert De Niro and Drew Barrymore. Soon after they met they found they had more in common than movies – both grew up on farms.
Henry & Glynis bought Collabear Farm in 1996, and started farming themselves. Henry says that they never set out to produce a culinary oil, “like all the best journeys, we never had a specific destination in mind.”
They started by looking at options for sustainable farming. Hemp had just been reintroduced to the UK – a crop that had been key to the economy in Northern Europe for centuries, but had fallen out of fashion in recent years. It fitted their requirements perfectly. Hemp is hugely beneficial to the environment, and can be used in an impressive range of eco friendly products. It meant they could grow a crop that was both sustainable and profitable.
Henry and Glynis grew hemp successfully for fibre - used in BMW 5 and 3 series cars. But it was only when they picked and tasted the hemp seeds in the fields that they were inspired to develop a culinary oil.
‘They were delicious,’ says Henry. ‘And then we began to learn all about the incredible health properties of hemp seed. It is very high in essential fats, has about half the saturated fats of olive oil and is the most naturally perfect oil in terms of omega -3 and -6.’ But getting the oil to taste as good as the raw hemp seed wasn’t easy. ‘It took us ages to get it right,’ explains Glynis. ‘It was a question of trial and error. And, when you’re growing a crop, you do one trial, have your error, and then have to wait another year.’ It was 10 years before they perfected the harvesting and pressing of the seeds to produce an oil that tastes like the seed in the field. Hence why GOOD Oil - our Hemp Seed Oil - today tastes so GOOD!
Collabear Farm is in North Devon, near Barnstaple. Tucked away amongst the hemp fields is the Farmhouse where Henry & Glynis live when they are not away filming . The Farmhouse dates back to the 1300s, with large open fire-places and a Cider Cellar – the norm for that neck of the woods! GOOD Oil is produced down the lane where we store the hemp seeds, cold-press them and bottle all of the finished product.
The team is small but GOOD. Henry and Glynis, of course! Aymeric keeps the business running smoothly. Nancy, the longest standing member of staff, is the Operations Manager, Kellie keeps the finances in order, Anthony makes sure you get the finest oil in each and every bottle, and Jyoti works to spread the GOOD word around the world. Christine, Aly (Nancy’s Mum) and Anne come in to help bottle the oil.
Other notable members of the team are Dave and Lucy - Nancy & Kellie’s dogs who like to come into work everyday, and Olivia the donkey who lives across from the farmhouse with the horses and the pony.
If you want to know a bit more about the story why not read “What makes a GOOD Oil?” by Henry