Jo tells us why he envies his father, his favourite foodie blog and the app that helps him grow his online business, Summerdown Mint.

Self-proclaimed foodie, Jo Colman started his professional life in politics but then realised his passion lay in food. After a dream job as a flavour development and salesman at Jude's Ice Cream, Jo joined the family business Summerdown Mint founded by his grandfather Sir Michael Colman (the mustard man).


Summerdown Mint grows and distils Black Mitcham peppermint on their family farm in Hampshire and uses this pure essential oil to create award-winning products from chocolates and teas to diffusers and bath soaks. Passionate about peppermint, the Summerdown team is on a mission to educate the British public about how real peppermint (unblended, unadulterated) should taste and smell.


All of the chocolates and teas have won Great Taste Awards, whilst the body, bath and home collection has two Beauty Shortlist Awards, a Natural Health Magazine and a Janey Loves award to its name.

My favourite website… Great British Chefs - It has an exceptional collection of excellent recipes (check out Chef Matthew Tomkinson’s Duck Massaman Curry for starters), interviews and tips on how to improve cooking techniques. Oh, and it looks stunning too.

My favourite app… Dropbox - It is a very boring thing to say, but when it comes to trying to grow a business, having an app that puts everything you need at the end of a touch makes an enormous difference. The usability and simplicity of this app is what wins it for me.

My blog of choice… Hot Dinners - I have discovered countless new restaurants through this blog. When I am at a loss for where to eat, it is often my first port of call.

My internet hero… my father - He is not to be found online – ever - and I sometimes envy him for that.

My most recent buy online… a portable vinyl player for my wife’s birthday - We both have a soft spot for the feel, smell and sound of a vinyl.

Book just downloaded/ read… I love to read and so I usually have at least three books on the go at one time, especially as Audible makes it so easy. Most recently I have finished John le Carré’s latest novel ‘A Legacy of Spies’, Niall Ferguson’s first volume biography on Henry Kissinger, a powerful reflection on the meaning of life by a hero of mine Jean Vanier, called 'Life’s Great Questions’’ and a brilliant book on organisational health by Patrick Lencioni, ‘The Advantage’.

Favourite tweeter… James Blunt - I must confess to not spending a huge amount of time on Twitter, but when I do venture on it is often because of the latest comeback or witty retort from Blunt.

Favourite instagrammer… Jude’s Ice Cream - I love what my friends at Jude’s Ice Cream do on their Instagram channel, @judesicecream. I am a fan of GIFs and somehow they manage to create some excellent ice cream-related fun each and every week. Creating content that looks as good as the ice cream tastes is quite a feat.

Social media allowed me to meet… and stay in touch with friends from around the world. Without it, I wouldn’t be seeing some friends in South Africa, Texas and New York over the next few months.

Most worthwhile newsletter subscribed to… Sous Chef - I love to cook and I do not know of a better website to find Japanese Ramen kits and stove top smokers in the same place. My experimentation in food took a massive step forward when I discovered Sous Chef.

Pet hate about life online… It’s insistence that it can replace genuine relationships. The web is the most exceptional tool, but it can never replace genuine relationships, it can only help them.

Standout online memory… The first time that something we ordered on Amazon Prime arrived the same day. I didn’t know I needed that ability until I had it!

January 2018