How we started, our story!

The beginning

How did I end up making Mud Kitchens in Exeter? Where do I start? Talking about myself is something I am not very used to, but here we go.

I grew up in Northern Ireland, my parents were farmers. We moved to England in the 1970’s to farm in Shropshire. My childhood was spent on the farm and this is were I got my love for making things, growing up on a farm means I was never far away from a tool, broken down tractor or something else that needed fixing.

The Middle

I went to University to study Occupational Therapy. After I graduated I moved to London to take up my first role in one of London’s large hospitals. Occupational Therapy is a very practical job and I spent many hours drawing up plans for bathrooms and taking apart wheelchairs!

Devon here we come!

After several years In Reading we decided to go on a Devon adventure and found a home just outside of Exeter and soon after our gorgeous son Harry was born. We feel very privileged to live close to the sea, we just need some more sunshine!

When Harry turned  8

When our son Harry turned 8 (hence why our little company is called Harry Was 8 Ltd) we faced a very difficult point in out lives. Harry was diagnosed with Coeliac disease and we decided to end our 3 year journey to adopt (long story but not connected to the above)

Over the following months as we came to terms with Harry’s diagnose and not been able to adopt, we thought what better way to move forward than to start making mud kitchens and play kitchens, however they had to the most exciting ones in the world. Our mud kitchens had to be multi sensory play stations, equipped with art easels, wormeries and shop doors. They had to try and inspire kids to not only play but to get passionate about food and cooking, which obviously for our family had now become a big deal!

We want kids to get their hands dirty and start planting and cooking and in the process learn about allergies and conditions that affect so many of our children. Perhaps some day, one of our chefs can come up with a way of making gluten free croissants taste amazing!! 

Everything we create has to try and have that wow factor !! We had the perfect team, Paul a teacher, Anne the carpenter and Harry the child, our secret weapon who could give us insights into what children loved. What could  possibly go wrong !! 

If I’m honest, it has been a difficult, messy and unpredictable journey. It looks so easy on Dragons’ Den! However we feel more alive and excited than ever before. We hope you love our products and perhaps you too could have your own family adventure!

Anne xx

‘Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow’ (A Einstein)