ANYONE can whisk up a jar of mouth-watering mayonnaise - all you need is a egg yolks, oil and vinegar right? Wrong! Not if you want the taste to blow your mind. it takes a lot more than that to perfect a quality sauce.

It’s just as well then that two entrepreneurs have turned their passion for making tasty and healthy sauces –mixed it with their love for Essex- and packaged it into a thriving new food business.

The Proper Classic range of mayonnaise sauces from Essex Garden Foods aims to take the artisan condiment market by storm. Considering the fact that mayo now outsells ketchup and is officially classed as the UK’s favourite condiment, they could have just the right ingredients for commercial success.

Essex Garden Foods’ journey began three years ago when the firm’s directors, Polish national Marcin Bartkowiak and business partner Radomir Wnenk from the Czech Republic, (both who have lived in Essex for over a decade) decided to make a go of their idea for their sauce empire.

Fast forward three years and after a lot of hard work and red tape that comes with starting up any new food business, the result is “Proper Classic Mayonnaise”, “Proper Classic with fresh garlic” and “Proper Classic with fresh Scotch Bonnet chillies.”

As well as selling their sauces online the pair launched and still sell their products at Chelmsford’s Meadows Shopping Centre. They have plans to sell their sauces at more venues across Essex and, eventually nationwide.

It is the first time either man has ventured into the condiments market.

Marcin is a professional landscape architect by trade and Radomir is a master butcher who would make his sauces to his own original recipe for friends and work colleagues here in Essex, as well as relatives back at home.

When those pals started begging for more and insisted on buying the mayonnaise the pair knew they had something they could bring to market.

Marcin, 36, who is originally from Jarocin in central Poland and moved to Essex for his post graduate education at Writtle College, said: “After living for so long in this beautiful county, what we really love about Essex is its local people and their passion for gardening and growing their own food.

“Its strong historical rural character and unique countryside gave us an impulse to create our own artisan condiment sauces and we are really excited at how it’s going.”

The Proper Classic sauces are preservative-free, GM free, gluten free and lactose free and are suitable for vegetarians.

The range is born from Radomir’s original (secret recipe) and contains base ingredients of free-range eggs, dried powdered vegetables and sweet and sour pickled gherkins.

“Basically they are high-quality, condiment sauces with a great taste,” added Marcin.

“We’ve had some great feedback from customers, many who say our mayonnaise is so creamy that we must use cream - but we don’t use any dairy products at all - the creamy taste is all down to the recipes that we have worked hard to develop.”

Radomir, 51, who is originally from Rýma?ov in the Czech Republic, added: “We use a special blend of vegetables carefully selected to give great colour, flavour and texture with the emphasis on quality products that come from trusted and reputable suppliers.

“For us, it’s always been about quality and creating a unique product and we are proud to have achieved that”

The pair formed Essex Garden Foods Limited recently to promote their products to a wider audience..

Despite their European roots Marcin and Radomir are adamant Essex is at the heart and soul of their sauces. And so when it came to a name for their brand, they needed something that would encapsulate the essence of the county – and so “Proper Classic” was born.

“We spent ages thinking about names,” added Marcin.

“We wanted the name to be associated with Essex because we love this county so much, but we wanted it to be positive and something to be proud of. We hope we’ve got it right.”

The ethos behind the sauces are that they are wide ranging and can be used everyday in every way.

“They can be used with everything from simple snacks and dips like vegetable sticks, chips, sandwiches to sophisticated pastas and especially to compliment meats,” explained Marcin.

“For example the classic recipe goes really well with chicken, the chilli is perfect with a BBQs and cheeses and the fresh garlic is wonderful with steaks and kebabs and pork dishes.

When Marcin and Radomir aren’t working on their business ventures they love to enjoy as much of their adopted home county of Essex as possible.

“Essex is our home. We have had good, productive lives here and have many friends who were born and bred here. We wouldn’t think of going anywhere else to start up our business.

Essex Garden Foods is also a member of ‘A Taste of Anglia’, which supports and promotes the food and drink industry across the country. They have also had support from the Essex Innovation Programme which helps businesses get off the ground.

l Each 250g jar of Proper Classic costs £3.50 and is available at the Essex Garden Foods’ stall in the Meadows Shopping Centre. You can also buy it at