Interview With Urban Noodle * Product Samples From Urban Noodle * Urban Noodle Authentic Street Food Satay * Urban Noodle Authentic Street Food Thai Red Curry * Urban Noodle Authentic Street Food Black Bean * Urban Noodle Authentic Street Food Pad Thai * Urban Noodle Authentic Street Food Chow Mein
As it always works, I got an email from someone asking if I’d like to try their noodles. These are a little different though – they’re from the UK, however they’re made in Thailand. Not only that, they’re microwavable – in fact, I think that’s the only way they can be prepared. Let’s find out a little more about this unique line of noodles from Ginette Monkcom, Commercial Executive from Petty, Wood & Co. Ltd. of the UK.
THE RAMEN RATER> Can you start by telling me a little bit about the history of Urban Noodle – how did you start?
URBAN NOODLE> Well, Asian food was becoming popular in the UK – many Brits go on vacation in Thailand and Bali – and the street food phenomenon was getting a lot of attention, with food trucks popping up everywhere in London, so we decided that the time was right for a new brand.
We felt like the authentic taste of street food wasn’t available in the traditional dry noodle pots which are available over here, we craved soft noodles and a proper sauce. Urban Noodle was launched last year and has been selling successfully ever since, having become a really popular lunch choice for everyone in the office.
By the way, “we” are Petty Wood Ltd, a company that selects fine foods from across the world and imports them into the UK. Urban Noodle is one of the brands we own.
TRR> For my readers who aren’t familiar with your products, can you tell a little about them?
URBAN NOODLE> We have five noodle-based meals/snacks, in Chinese-takeout style containers. The noodles are soft, not dried, and you just have to mix the noodles and sauce in the container, zap them in the microwave for 2 minutes, and you’re done.
The types are: Satay, Pad Thai, Thai Red Curry, Black Bean, and Chow Mein.
TRR> Your noodles come in a takeout box design; why?
URBAN NOODLE> Convenience, mainly; but also what Urban Noodle offers is different, it’s authentic, and we wanted to represent that with our design. Not to mention they are eye-catching on a supermarket shelf and they’re easy to store in your home or office cupboard.
TRR> Do you produce products other than noodles?
URBAN NOODLE> No, just these 5 items under the Urban Noodle brand, but Petty Wood markets a host of other brands, from tea to candy, some we own and some we distribute on behalf of their manufacturers.
TRR> How do you noodle products differ from those by other manufacturers?
URBAN NOODLE> Urban Noodle items are lower in salt and fat than competing products, and have cleaner ingredient listings. And we worked hard to ensure the recipes and flavors are more authentic.
TRR> Can your products be purchased outside of the UK?
URBAN NOODLE> Not yet, but we’re actively looking at the US market. There are some similar products sold in the US, but we believe ours are superior.
TRR> Where do you make your noodles?
URBAN NOODLE> All the varieties are made in Thailand, in a BRC-accredited production facility.
TRR> What was your first product?
URBAN NOODLE> The full Urban Noodle range was introduced at the same time.
Petty Wood however, has been running as a successful business for 200 years, launching the Epicure brand in 1891.
TRR> Are you involved in the local community/charity?
URBAN NOODLE> Every year Petty Wood employees vote for two charities to support throughout the coming year; one local and one national charity. This year we are proud to be supporting Hampshire & The Isle Of Wight’s Air Ambulance and Alzheimer’s Society.
TRR> How many of your unique noodles do you produce every year?
URBAN NOODLE> In our first year of trading we produced thousands of Urban Noodle pots, and since then our orders haven’t stopped coming.
TRR> Have you ever thought about varieties like macaroni and cheese or pizza flavored noodles?
URBAN NOODLE> Well…. Great ideas…. If we come across a street vendor in Bangkok or Jakarta selling macaroni & cheese noodles or pizza noodles, then we will come up with an equivalent!
TRR> Which is your personal favorite variety of Urban Noodle and what (if anything) do you add to them?
URBAN NOODLE> Mine is the Satay: the sauce is very peanutty (if that’s a word) and has little baby corns in it. A meal in itself. A second favorite is the Thai Red Curry: I have tried adding chicken to that, which is so easy to do and gives it that little bit extra.
TRR> You’re located in the UK – can you tell us a little about life where your company is located – local highlights and the like?
URBAN NOODLE> We’re in Andover, a town in the county of Hampshire, about 60 miles southwest of London. It was founded by Celts over 1,000 years ago: Andover was mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1086. It’s surrounded by beautiful countryside, and also hosts the Head Quarters for the British Army. Andover a great place in which to live and work.
TRR> Why the name Urban Noodle?
URBAN NOODLE> It’s a great name, isn’t it? (It’s trademarked by the way.) It means exactly what it suggests: city food, quick convenient, high quality.
TRR> Are there any new products on the way from Urban Noodle? Can you give my readers a ‘sneak peek?’
URBAN NOODLE> We are dedicating our focus to the current range of Urban Noodle right now but are looking at other flavors we might extend the range with in the future.
THE RAMEN RATER> Thank you very much for this opportunity! I and my readers appreciate it!
With that, let’s start Meet The Manufacturer! I want to thank Steve Dawson for reaching out about this product line, and Ginette Monkcom for the interview!