our story so far
1. The idea
In the summer of 2014, Adam found himself trading the drizzly streets of Birmingham for the vibrant, bustling metropolis of Mexico City. An unexpected job opportunity had uprooted him and his partner Lauren, planting them firmly in the heart of a culture steeped in history, colourful traditions, and a culinary scene that was unlike anything they had ever known.
Mexico’s cuisine, a vibrant tapestry of European and Pre-Hispanic cultures, tantalised his senses. From the heat of chiles, the sounds of bustling street food stalls, to the eye-catching colours of fresh produce.
One dish, in particular, captivated him. It was during a breezy lunchtime in La Condesa, that Adam tasted his very first taco stuffed with escamoles - the 'Mexican caviar.' At first, he was hesitant. After all, these delicate ant larvae, harvested from the roots of the agave plant, were a far cry from the familiar flavours of home.
But with the first bite, Adam was swept away. The escamoles, gently sautéed with butter, onions, and spices, were deliciously nutty, surprisingly creamy, and packed with an earthy flavour that was utterly unique. Encased in a soft, warm tortilla, this humble yet intriguing taco was a revelation.
From that moment, Adam was hooked. The rich, exotic flavours of escamoles had opened his eyes to the world of edible insects - a staple of Mexican cuisine and a testament to its culinary roots. This experience transformed Adam's perspective on food, embedding a deep appreciation for Mexico's vibrant gastronomy that he carries to this day.
2. Meeting the pioneers
Four years after his life-changing move to Mexico City, in 2018, a new opportunity came knocking at Adam's door. He was awarded a prestigious Nuffield Farming Scholarship. This wasn't just an academic award; it was an exciting chance to delve deeper into his passion for edible insects that had begun with that unforgettable escamole taco.
The scholarship meant embarking on an investigative journey around the world, exploring how different cultures farmed insects for food. Adam's mission was not just educational but also entrepreneurial. He was on a quest to uncover the possibilities of setting up a similar venture back in the UK.
Adam's journey took him from millennia old silkworm farms in North Eastern Thailand to high-tech cricket farms in Canada and the USA, each experience adding another piece to the puzzle. His travels were filled with countless discoveries, from innovative farming techniques to inventive insect-based dishes that challenged his understanding of food and sustainability.
This scholarship wasn't just a learning journey for Adam; it was a stepping stone towards his goal of introducing the UK to the world of edible insects. Armed with newfound knowledge and a robust global perspective, Adam was ready to explore the untapped potential of farming insects for food on his home turf.
3. Building a cricket farm
With a wealth of knowledge under his belt and a newfound sense of purpose, Adam embarked on his next big adventure: Instar Farming. It was time to bring his vision to life, blending his passion for edible insects with his aspiration to promote sustainable food options in the UK.
The early days were a whirlwind of trial and error. There were countless hurdles to overcome, from finding the perfect feed that would nourish the crickets, to getting the temperature and humidity just right. Each experiment was a lesson, a step closer to his goal.
Adam's dedication eventually paid off. After numerous tweaks and adjustments, he finally hit upon a successful formula. He managed to develop a method to rear large quantities of healthy, thriving crickets. It was a moment of triumph and one small step in UK's journey towards sustainable food practices.
3. Creating insect based foods
While successfully producing crickets was a significant achievement, it was only part of the equation. The next challenge was to transform these insects into a form that was not only edible but also tasty and nutritious. This is where Bugvita steps in.
Bugvita is responsible for processing the crickets, leveraging cutting-edge techniques discovered through a lengthy research and development phase.
First the crickets undergo a thorough cleaning and sterilisation process, ensuring that they are safe for consumption. Once this is done, they are gently dried to preserve their nutritional value while also making them shelf life stable. The final step is to mill the crickets into a fine powder, creating a versatile ingredient that could seamlessly blend into a variety of dishes.
Bugvita's innovative approach allows for the efficient transformation of farm-raised crickets into a nutrient-dense food source.
4. Scaling up
As Bugvita's customer base grew, the team recognised the need for larger and more sophisticated processing facilities. With the help of grant grant funding, they invested in a purpose build factory, equipped with specialist machinery to handle their unique product.
To ensure that they were never short of crickets, Bugvita extended their reach, forging partnerships with other innovative farms across the UK. This collaboration helps to support the burgeoning UK edible insect industry as we work together to produce high-quality, sustainable insect for food.
Once the crickets on our partner farms reach the perfect age, they are harvested and promptly frozen, preserving their nutritional quality. These cricket are then transported to the Bugvita' facility where they are transformed into a variety of delicious ingredients and snacks.
At Bugvita, innovation is at the heart of everything that we do. We are always on the hunt for fresh, exciting ways to introduce new customers to the world of delicious and nutritious edible insects. If you have any ideas for new products that you would like to see us develop, please get in touch.
Bugvita began with the basics: cricket powder and whole roasted crickets, laying the groundwork for what would become a rapidly expanding product range.
Next, they ventured into the world of snack foods, creating an ever growing selection of flavoured, whole cricket snacks. Sriracha and Maple Wood Smoked were two early fan favourites and now there a eight fantastic flavours to chose from.
Keen to demonstrate the versatility of cricket powder as an ingredient, Bugvita have developed a mouth watering new product: Cricket Oaties. These irresistible biscuits, packed with the nutritional goodness of crickets, are quickly becaming a staple in their customers' pantries.
With each new product, Bugvita is helping to redefine what it means to enjoy nutritious, sustainable, and above all, delicious food.