H. Forman and Son
|Founder||Harry (Aaron) Forman|
|Products||London Cure Smoked Salmon, smoked fish, cured fish|
H. Forman & Son is an artisan salmon smokehouse, located in London's East End on Fish Island, Hackney Wick. It is Britain’s oldest original salmon curer and one of the world’s oldest existing producers of smoked salmon.
Harry (Aaron) Forman arrived in east London from Odessa at the beginning of the 20th century. He pursued his trade of curing fish by importing salmon in barrels of brine from the Baltic. On discovering fresh Scottish salmon arriving in London at Billingsgate Fish Market, he developed the London Cure.
Harry Forman started the business in Stepney, London. Harry’s son Louis Forman took over the business and continued to run it into the 1960s after his father’s death. He relocated the business to Ridley Road and Marcel Forman superseded him.
Fourth-generation Forman owner Lance Forman joined the business in 1994. He oversaw the company doubling in size in 1996, when it expanded into a neighboring property in Queen's Yard. The new and expanded factory suffered 60% damage from a fire in 1998 and the company continued to operate while rebuilding the premises. In October 2000, the newly refurbished factory was flooded under 3 ft of water when the nearby river River Lea overflowed. The company relocated the factory to Marshgate Lane, Stratford, completing the move in 2002.
2012 London Olympics compulsory purchase order
In 2003, H. Forman & Son learned of London’s bid to host the 2012 Summer Olympics. The company would have to relocate following a Compulsory Purchase Order. Forman’s newly refurbished factory was located on land that was proposed to become the running track of the Olympic Stadium. This relocation was confirmed in July 2005 when London won the bid to host the 2012 Summer games.
Lance Forman founded the Marshgate Lane Business Group, which worked to ensure that 284 businesses facing relocation were fairly treated during the compulsory purchase process. H. Forman & Son was given two years to relocate the business by the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA). A deal was struck with the authorities in 2006 when Lance Forman was asked by the ODA to withdraw from cross-examining the LOCOG chairman Sebastian Coe at a Land Tribunal court hearing.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, officially opened the finished smokehouse in 2009. The company's headquarters is the closest building (100m distant) to the stadium outside of the Olympic Park.
The London Cure
The London Cure is H. Forman & Son’s trademark smoking process; it is a dry-curing process using only salt, no sugar, followed by a cold-smoking procedure using limited and controlled quantities of smoke, now produced by friction-burning oak logs. The fish is cured, carved, filleted and packaged by hand, following methods introduced by Harry Forman since 1905.
The Forman businesses
H. Forman & Son is also a parent company for four businesses which share its headquarters: Forman & Field, Forman's London restaurant, Forman's Fish Island and Forman's Smokehouse Gallery.
- Forman & Field was established in 2002. It is the online retail based arm of H. Forman & Son, specialising in British food which are made to order and sourced from small British producers, and selling H. Forman & Son's fish produce.
- Forman's London Restaurant, serves H. Forman & Son smoked fish alongside bespoke British dishes created by Executive Chef Lloyd Hardwick and a selection of British drinks. The restaurant hosted the BBC Celebrity MasterChef semi-finals in 2012.
- Forman’s Fish Island is an events venue which has the capacity for up to 1,000 people and includes a large events space overlooking the Olympic Park (also used as Forman’s Smokehouse Gallery) and a rooftop terrace.
- H. Forman and Son’s Smokehouse Gallery exhibits a variety of artists every year. (Hackney Wick is home to the highest concentration of creative practitioners and artist studios in Europe.)
Ahead of the 2012 London Olympics, Lance Forman purchased land adjacent to the headquarters to make way for the temporary Fish Island Riviera venue, which saw corporate parties and the public visiting the Olympics visiting during the course of the games.
In 2013, the brand expanded into the US market through Formans USA.
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