New: American-Style Halal Hot Dogs

November 5, 2015 at 12:05 pm

A3-posterHot-Dogs-v7-webOver the last year, we’ve developed an excellent relationship with a specialist supplier of high quality sausage ingredients. As a result of lengthy development work, recipe testing and customer taster sessions, we’re now gearing up for the launch of some delicious new products.

The first of these will be our American-inspired halal hot dogs – a range of pre-cooked, ready-to-eat sausages that can be used in buns, salads and breakfasts, but which work equally well as a sandwich-filler and a pizza topping.

There are three great flavours to choose from:

They are each available in three alternative sizes. The full size Original hot dogs come in packs of 4, the smaller Breakfast versions come in packs of 8, and the Mini versions, ideal for use in salads, buffets and children’s lunches, are sold in packs of 12.

Like all our products, they’re certified halal by the HMC and manufactured at our BRC-accredited factory in Blackburn.

Their launch will be marked by a series of free taster sessions at selected retail outlets, including our own Superstore in Blackburn. Look out for special promotions on the website and free give-aways via our social media outlets.

Mayoral Re-opening For Newly Extended KQF Superstore, Post Office & SPAR

October 12, 2015 at 10:08 am

On Thursday 1st October, the Mayor of Blackburn with Darwen, Cllr. Faryad Hussain, conducted the formal re-opening of the KQF Superstore on Whalley Range, which has recently been the subject of significant change and investment.

KQF and SPAr OpeningThe superstore, which KQF originally acquired in 2013, has changed markedly over the last two years but some of the most important developments have taken place in the last two months. It now encompasses a full-service Post Office and, thanks to a new partnership with SPAR, it also offers an extended range of dairy products, drinks and snacks. Accordingly, senior representatives of all three organisations accompanied the Mayor when he conducted the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Introducing the event, KQF managing director Faruk Vali thanked Cllr. Hussain and the partner organisations for attending. He said: “All the changes that have taken place here – structural improvements, the new layout, longer opening hours and, of course, all our new products and facilities – have been introduced to provide our customers with a better, more relevant and more convenient service. The work has been costly and it has demanded great efforts from our staff and all our partners, but it has been absolutely worthwhile. We’ve been glad to do it because it’s a clear sign of our long term commitment to customers and to the local community.”

Speaking on behalf of the Post Office, public affairs manager Richard Hall said: “We understand how important having a Post Office is to residents in Whalley Range and I am confident that this new modern Post Office will meet the needs of the local community and secure services for the future. We wish Faruk and the team at KQF every success with the new venture. This modernisation is part of a major investment programme, the largest in the history of the Post Office, and marks a commitment to no more branch closure programmes.

At the opening ceremony, SPAR was represented by Andrew Hall, managing director of the Lancashire wholesale specialist James Hall & Co. He said: ” This is a wonderful example of different cultures working together to provide food and services to the whole community

Councillor Hussain then stood alongside the three speakers to perform the ceremony itself. He wished the partners well and hoped that the venture would be a great success. Leader of Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council expressed similar sentiments, noting that customers would enjoy added convenience from having so many services available under one roof.

The event concluded with refreshments and a tour of the new-look premises, which – as a result of recent investment – feature an array of improvements such as an ATM cash-point, a new Costa Express, a re-tiled floor and an improved check-out area.

Customers who gathered to witness the opening then took the opportunity to try some of KQF’s new product lines as well as samples of new products introduced by SPAR.

More details about the KQF Superstore, including the opening times of its new post office, can be obtained by calling 01254 52527 or by visiting its website – www.kqf-foods.com/blackburn.

Eid Mubarak to all customers, friends and colleagues from everyone here at KQF

July 17, 2015 at 9:43 am

Eid wishes

This week around the world, we will join 1.8 billion Muslims celebrating the Islamic festival of Eid ul Fitr. Marking the completion of Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting, it is a day of great joy and new beginnings. After Ramadan’s physical and spiritual challenges, Eid heralds a bright future bursting with hope and potential.

The festival is now upon us and with it comes a time to enjoy the company of family and friends – often accompanied by a celebratory meal.

Though all Muslims recognise this as a very special time of year and most mark it with a hearty family meal, preferred dishes vary by country and region. For example, families originating from Pakistan might opt for rice with meat, naan and curry, together with samosas, rolls and kebabs. Roast chicken is also very popular (after all, when isn’t it?) and the same can be said of chicken drumsticks and sweet Asian dishes like ras malai.

Whilst some of these may also be enjoyed by families with Indian origins, alternative national favourites include biryani, tandoori chicken and meat karahi. For dessert, homemade sweets, cakes and biscuits often appear on the table.

Variety, they say, is the spice of life and so, regardless of their ethnicity, most Muslims will tend to mix and match their ingredients, choosing chicken as the principal ingredient in one dish and then lamb or beef as the basis for another.

Every family has its cherished recipes for special occasions and, at a time such as this, we’d never presume to offer our own suggestions as an alternative. We’re sure you all have plans and favourite dishes that you’re looking forward to so, instead, we’ve kept ourselves busy by planning our EID sale in a way that we hope makes life easier for everyone.

All the major ingredients for home-cooked celebratory meals – tikka-cut chicken breast, diced lamb, beef cubes and many other fresh halal meat cuts – are included in our seasonal sale, and there are savings, too, on a range of convenience foods. Samosas, kebabs, polonies and burgers are just some of the many foods on special offer. The EID sale runs until 25th July 2015.

If you have a particular favourite dish for Eid al-Fitr, or if there’s an important ingredient that you’d like us to include in next year’s Ramadan sale, please do get in touch. We really welcome your feedback and we’ll always do our best to provide the foods that are of most value to you.

At this very special time, KQF wishes you a blessed and prosperous Eid, filled with brightness and joy in the coming days.

From all the team at KQF, Eid Mubarak!

Tasty seasonal party foods for Eid celebration

July 10, 2015 at 12:43 pm

buffet-315691_1280With Eid fast approaching, we thought we’d offer some tips and suggestions for some tasty seasonal party foods.

If you’re having friends and family round for the evening, the last thing you’ll want to do will be to spend the whole time in the kitchen. Parties mean people – so what’s the best way of making sure you get to spend the maximum possible time with them?

Planning is important.  Not everyone will arrive at the same time but you can heat up the oven in advance and prepare a small quantity of hot nibbles to welcome your first guests. Chicken sticks or nuggets, cocktail sausages and similar fun-sized bites are ideal because they can be placed in a bowl – with cocktail sticks for easy picking – alongside dips and cold snacks such as nuts, crisps and crudités.  You can also prepare a small quantity of samosas and rolls, of course. Leave the oven on and prepare additional batches as you go along. This means latecomers can still be greeted with something warm and tasty.

The oven is your friend on a night like this because, provided you keep a watchful eye on the timings, it can get on with most of the hard work whilst you mingle and entertain. (That’s the planning again.) In addition to the initial snacks, you can also use it to prepare more substantial items such as pizzas, ready cooked kebabs, marinated meats and pies.

A mix of hot and cold foods will help to keep your workload down. Cold sliced meats, together with halal cheeses and a nice mixed salad can all be prepared in advance and then left in the fridge until the appropriate time. Breads are another key element that can be heated in the oven and they can provide at least some of the filler without demanding a lot of your time.

Of course being Eid, to all this you might well want to add a few signature touches of your own – a curry or a special rice dish, for example – but by keeping everything else simple and low maintenance, you’ll have more time to concentrate on making it a really striking centrepiece. KQF Chicken cut curry pieces can easily be used in dishes such as curries, stews and layered biryani dishes.

If Beef is on your menu, try KQF Minced Beef which is lean, flavoursome and exceptionally versatile. Seasoned and shaped, it makes excellent beef kofta, but it can also be used to make wonderful savoury fillings or used in traditional minced beef curries.

Or if you prefer a Lamb dish on Eid, KQF Lamb Curry Mix Meat would be ideal. It is cut into handy, bite-sized pieces that are ideal for curries and other family favourites.

Last but not least, no celebration is complete without a sweet dish. For kids, preparing homemade biscuits and cakes would be the most popular item. Traditional sweet dishes are a great hit. So why not rustle up with Barfi, Gulab Jamun (a ball shaped milk based dessert immersed in a sugar syrup), and ras malai (dish prepared with milk). They are all time favourites and will keep everyone happy.

We wish you and your family a happy Eid in advance and wish you every success.

Cricket Sponsorship 2015

June 26, 2015 at 9:07 am

This summer, we were once again delighted to be the official sponsor of the Blackburn-based Bharuch Cricket Club which recently began its 2015 season.

The Club, which competes in the Blackburn and District Cricket League, will once again be wearing the KQF logo emblazoned on its whites and caps.

“We’re very pleased to be sponsoring the team again this year,” said managing director, Faruk Vali. “We first supported the team in 2014 and we’re more than happy to continue the relationship in 2015. Everyone at KQF would like to wish the squad the greatest success; it would be great to see a player in a KQF shirt lifting this season’s trophy.”

Here is the highlights from last year.

KQF Bharuch Cricket club

AHF visit – In their own words…

May 29, 2015 at 10:22 am

In a recent post, we reported that we’d had a welcome return visit by members of the Abu Hanifah Foundation Cub Scouts Group – or, more precisely, AHF Beavers. We’ve already spoken about it but we thought you’d like to hear the views of the boys and girls themselves. After their visit, they very kindly sent us all sorts of letters of thanks – even some pictures. We’ve listed a few examples below.

“I thought that the day was so amazing. They make so many burgers and sausages in a day. I really enjoyed making and eating the sausages.”
Hafsa

“I wish  we could have breakfast  like this every Sunday!”

Hamza-Yusuf

Hakim and Zaki sent us a lovely drawing, which describes the fun they had.

AHF visit - KQF factoryIn it, they note that their favourite part was the food tasting – saying: “I loved the taste of the KQF chicken and I’m sure all the other cubs/ scouts enjoyed it too! I also liked the part when we saw how KQF made the delicious sausages… The overall experience was outstanding!”

Another of the visitors, Mohammed sent us a thoughtful report, which described all that he’d done during his stay with us. He noted how the children had all put on hygienic protective clothing and that they’d learned a great deal about the production process. He wrote: “We saw men making sausages… one of the machines could make 3,800 burgers in ten minutes!”

We also received text messages from parents describing how interesting and enjoyable trip their children had at KQF factory. The message says  – “My son really enjoyed his trip at KQF factory. The visit has converted not only their son but entire family to eat delicious sausages for the breakfast. We will definitely buy them again and again”.

We’re very glad that the children enjoyed their trip. It was a pleasure to welcome such bright and appreciative visitors, and everyone at KQF looks forward to seeing our friends from AHF again.

Texan-style burgers with red pepper salsa

May 13, 2015 at 11:49 am

Weighing 110g each, our Jumbo Texan Beef Burgers are very satisfying and considerably larger than ordinary high street burgers. They’re also made with a much higher meat content so they’re a great choice when you want something special for a family barbecue.

The Jumbo range includes Great British and Texan-style quarter-pounders. The difference is that the British version is simply seasoned with salt and pepper, whereas the Texan burger, with all its Mexican influences, is enlivened with a tasty blend of onion, peppers, green chillies and miscellaneous herbs and spices.

This barbecue suggestion builds on the peppery theme with a spicy salsa relish that makes a great accompaniment to a meaty summertime treat.

To serve four people, you will need:

Red pepper Salsa dip

  • Half a red pepper
  • Half a yellow pepper
  • One large tomato
  • A quarter of a cucumber
  • A quarter of an onion
  • One lemon, a clove of garlic
  • I teaspoon of paprika
  • 20ml olive oil (approx 1 tablespoon)
  • Salt and pepper & fresh chilli to taste

The method really couldn’t be easier. Just chop the vegetables, add the zest and juice of the lemon and mix in the other ingredients. Add the seasoning, spices, garlic and chilli to taste.

The result is a delicious, fresh and feisty salsa dressing that also works well as a fantastic dip for breads and tortilla chips.

 

Leicester Roadshow – Gourmet Range

April 28, 2015 at 11:24 am

In the food business, getting direct customer feedback is extremely important, particularly when you’re launching products such as our new Exotic range of gourmet half-pounder beef burgers. That’s why we were very pleased to work with one of our long-standing clients to organise a customer roadshow in Leicester.

Held on Saturday 25th April between 12 noon and 4pm the event took place at the premises of Mr Burger, a well-respected retailer and wholesaler of quality frozen foods.  We took the five variants of the Exotic burgers and staff gave out free samples for shoppers to try.

Leicester-Roadshow-Gourmet-burgers

The five flavours in the Exotic range include:

  • Mexican
  • Moroccan
  • Portuguese Piri Piri
  • South African
  • Thai

One of the most interesting findings was that there appear to be regional differences in terms of customer preference. From taster sessions in Lancashire, at the KQF Superstore and elsewhere, the most popular flavours have tended to be the Thai-style and the Moroccan beef burgers. In Leicester, however, more customers opted for the spicier flavours of the South African and Mexican varieties.

It’s good to see that all the new flavour blends have been met with a positive reaction but it’s still too early to see whether a firm national favourite is emerging. More free taster sessions will probably take place over the summer, so if you’d like to take part, please check our Twitter and Facebook pages for details of forthcoming events.

Cub Scouts Visit

April 1, 2015 at 9:02 am

You may recall that in December last year, we had a visit from a local Cub Scouts Group. Well, we enjoyed the visit so much that we decide to repeat the experience, so, on Saturday 28th March, we welcomed 25 members of the Abu Hanifah Foundation Cub Scouts Group.

Aged between 6 and 7, the cubs visited our manufacturing facility in Blackburn and were welcomed by our managing director, Faruk Vali. He gave them a quick overview of the company’s work and showed them a company video before conducting them on a tour of the factory floor.

IMG_6247One of the reasons for the children’s visit was to learn about the importance of food hygiene, which is a vital concern to food manufacturers. The cubs saw how workers prepared to enter the production area, the protective clothes they wore and the equipment they used to prevent food contamination. Staff gave a demonstration of their work and explained the processes that KQF had to follow in order to operate safely.

“It was great to have another group of cubs visit our factory,” said Faruk Vali. “It’s nice to have the opportunity to show children around and to demonstrate how seriously we take matters like hygiene and safety. The highlight, though, was our ever-popular sausage/polony-making challenge, where we show the children how it’s done and then invite them to have a go. They worked very well and received a certificate to commemorate all their hard work.”

After trying their hands at food manufacture, the scouts completed their tour by receiving a ‘goody bag’ containing polonies, sausages and KQF’s new Halal Macon Rashers and a certificate of attendance.

It was another great day with the Abu Hanifah Foundation Cub Scouts Group and we thank them all for visiting us.

Tastes of the World: The New Exotic Range

March 18, 2015 at 10:18 am

In recent weeks, we’ve been busily gearing up for a major new launch: the introduction of our Exotic range of gourmet style beef burgers. They will hit the shops on Saturday 21st March.

The watchword for the new range is ‘luxury’. The new burgers weigh a full half pound (220g) and they are made with 90% lean beef, so in terms of both quality and size, they’re leagues ahead of anything you’ll find on the high street.

The other thing that really distinguishes the Exotic range is the range of flavours. We’ve spent months developing new flavour profiles and researching customer preferences. On the strength of this work, we’ve come up with a selection of five products. They all have distinctive flavours based on authentic recipes from across the globe.

Gourmet Burgers

Gourmet Burgers

These ‘tastes of the world’ include:

  • Mexican: hot and spicy, with a wonderful smoky flavour
  • Moroccan: a subtle blend of herbs, mild spices and apricot pieces
  • Portuguese: a tangy combination of chilli, red pepper, onion, herbs and seasonings
  • South African: a distinct sharp flavour based on herbs, black pepper and cracked coriander
  • Thai: a delicious oriental mix with hints of chilli, coconut and lime

Designed for special occasions and for when you just want something really satisfying, these gourmet burgers are sold in packs of two. Like all KQF products, they are certified halal by the HMC.

In preparation for the launch, we’ve been organising some special promotions. If you’re following our Facebook or Twitter profiles, you’ll know we’ve been releasing product details each week, but now we’re stepping up a gear.

Much of our customer taste-testing has been carried out at the KQF Superstore in Blackburn so, on the day of the formal launch (Saturday 21st March) we’ll be running a free taster counter in the store. There will also be a competition/game in which customers can win FREE packs. For those who can’t visit the Blackburn store, we’ll also be running a roadshow, which will visit some of our larger retail stockists.

The new Exotic range will sit alongside our other popular halal burgers including the Classic range, our Chunky burgers  and the Jumbo/Texan quarter pounder burgers in our Premium range. You’ll find them all in the Frozen section of the KQF website.