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CUMBRIA is home to a wide range of superb food and crafts producers. High-quality, unique and award-winning, our home-grown businesses are part of the essential fabric of the county – generating wealth, creating employment and adding to the county’s distinctive reputation.

I believe that it’s incredibly important for Cumbrian businesses to work together whenever they can, which is why we always aim to source products from local suppliers.

Over the years I have been privileged to meet many talented Cumbrian food and crafts producers at various fairs, shows and markets.

Cup-of-Tea

The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop is delighted to showcase the following excellent Cumbrian businesses whose products we sell – both from our own shop and via this website.

Joanne

Joanne Hunter, a partner in Grasmere Gingerbread

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Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding Co. Ltd

Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding Co. Ltd

The Cartmel Village Shop is the home of Sticky Toffee Pudding. From here it produces and sells its most famous dessert dish and other delicious puddings, which are handmade from 100 per cent natural ingredients. They are also available in independent fine food shops, Booths, Selfridges, Waitrose, Harvey Nichols and Fortnum & Mason. The company has been declared a “food hero” by Rick Stein and also praised by Nigella Lawson, Jean-Christophe Novelli and Anthony Worrall Thompson. It has been supplying sticky toffee sauce and sticky toffee chocolates to The Grasmere Gingerbread for several years.

Working with The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop

“We are delighted to supply our sauce and chocolates to The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop,” said Jo Wolsey, sales executive. “It’s a great idea for local producers in Cumbria to work together and promote products that all have the same ethos around them. It helps to raise the profile of our foodstuffs, not just to people who live here but the millions of visitors to Cumbria and the Lake District every year. We have a regular fortnightly order from The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop and it’s a great showcase for us.”

Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding Co.

Visit the Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding Company – www.cartmelvillageshop.co.uk

Products Sold:

Sticky Toffee Sauce          – £2.95
Sticky Toffee Chocolates – £3.50
(Also on offer in the Ultimate Cumbrian Hamper)

To buy these please click here

Claire's Handmade

Claire’s Handmade

Claire’s Handmade produces a range of delicious preserves, chutneys and relishes which have won numerous Great Taste Awards. The company – run by husband and wife team Claire and Michael Kent – now supply The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop with a scrumptious Dark Chocolate Ginger Sauce from their Sundae Best range. “We are a small business and pride ourselves on using traditional methods and only the best natural ingredients,” said Claire.

Working with The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop

“The Grasmere Gingerbread Cumbrian Suppliers Initiative is fantastic,” said Claire. “How easy would it be to order in mass-produced items from one supplier? Joanne and her team choose not to do this and the result is the wonderful Grasmere Gingerbread Shop. Their worldwide reputation is thoroughly deserved due to their continued efforts to stock only quality and carefully chosen products alongside their delectable gingerbread. The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop is a showcase for quality local products and we are delighted and feel privileged to be involved.”

Claire's Handmade

Visit Claire’s Handmade website – www.claireshandmade.co.uk

Products Sold:

Sarah’s Dark Chocolate Ginger Sauce – £3.95

To buy this please click here

Country Flavour

Country Flavour

Situated in the charming town of Kirkby Stephen, in the Eden Valley, Cumbria, Country Flavour is a family-run business comprising Jo and Chris Keogh and their son Stephen. Its fudges are popular with Grasmere Gingerbread Shop customers and are also sold at farmers’ markets, agriculture and flower shows throughout the region.

Working with The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop

“We produce a range of flavoured fudges for The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop including ginger, chocolate and rum and raisin,” explained Jo. “It’s a great relationship between the two businesses and it reflects the wider culture of local Cumbrian food producers working together. As we are not too far away it’s also convenient and more environmentally-friendly for us to directly drop off the orders at the shop in Grasmere.”

Country Flavour

Visit the Country Flavour website – www.country-flavour.co.uk

Products Sold:

Selection of Fudges via mail order at £7.25

To buy these please click here

The Cumberland Pencil Company

The Cumberland Pencil Company

The makers of Derwent fine art materials has a long and distinguished heritage, stretching back to the discovery of graphite in the Borrowdale area of the Lake District in the early 1500s. Their pencils have been made in Cumbria since 1832 and generations of local craftsmen have used their unique skills to perfect the art of pencil making.

“The company is very proud of its heritage because it has made us who we are today,” said Emma Chapman, Marketing Manager. “The expertise we have gained over so many years has enabled us to develop the finest range of art materials in the world.”

The Cumberland Pencil Company currently distributes its products to 75 countries worldwide and to over 300 customers in the UK. It is a forward thinking company, with innovative products that artists from all corners of the world enjoy using.

Working with The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop

“Being part of Cumbrian history ourselves, we feel it is incredibly important to support and encourage coalition between local businesses and so we were delighted when Joanne Wilson approached us,” said Emma. “We manufacture an exclusive pencil for The Grasmere Gingerbread shop which features a unique coloured barrel and company imprint. The pencil is one of our Sketching HB pencils so it can be used for many functions from sketching and drawing to writing in everyday use.”

The Cumberland Pencil Company

Visit the Cumberland Pencil Company website – www.pencils.co.uk

Products Sold:

Luxury Gingerbread Pencil – 50p

To buy this please click here

Farrers of Kendal

Farrers of Kendal

Tea merchant John Farrer started the business in 1819 and the company now supplies a wide range of coffees and teas to customers throughout the UK and the rest of the world. Its headquarters, within an historic building in Kendal, dates back to the 17th century and is grade 2 listed. Situated on several levels, including tea and coffee lounges, it is a fascinating attraction in its own right. Farrers has been supplying tea to the Grasmere Gingerbread Shop since 2002.

Working with The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop

“Cumbrian businesses working together like this is a great idea,” said Tracy Aspinall, office manager. “As well as tea we also supply caddies to the Grasmere Gingerbread Shop. There are so many good food and drink producers in Cumbria so it’s important to highlight them collaboratively, not only to the people who live here but to all the visitors to the county.”

Farrers of Kendal

Visit Farrers – www.farrers.net

Products Sold:

Boxes of Lakeland Tea bags – (sorry not available mail order – just “over the counter sales”)
Tin of English Afternoon Tea – £3.00

To buy this please click here

Handmade Chocolates

Handmade Chocolates

Maryport-based Neil Jenkinson started making his delicious handmade chocolates from his own kitchen about six years ago, initially selling them at local markets and food fairs. As demand grew alongside their reputation he started supplying them to other county outlets, including delicatessens and confectioners. The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop sells his dark chocolate gingers, milk chocolate ginger limes and solid chocolate gingerbread men.

Working with The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop

“Joanne Hunter contacted me about five years ago after buying some of my chocolates and I’ve been supplying The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop ever since,” said Neil. “It’s a good source of income for me, Joanne is passionate about supporting local food producers and I am proud to be associated with such a prestigious world-famous business which attracts so many visitors. It’s a great selling point for my chocolates that they are stocked by The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop.”

Handmade Chocolates

Hawkshead Relish

Hawkshead Relish

The Hawkshead Relish Company provides a truly Cumbrian gastronomic experience as artisan producers of award-winning preserves. Over 100 handmade culinary creations have established it at the forefront of regional speciality cuisine and earned a discerning following from celebrity chefs to members of the Royal family. Mark and Maria Whitehead began Hawkshead Relish with a passion for creating not only exceptional produce but in a way that would provide the community with a local industry that would help support the rural economy. “We are as much part of the locality, as the locality is part of us,” said Maria. Their ethos of only using quality ingredients from local suppliers is also extended to the exclusion of artificial colourings, flavourings and preservatives.

Working with The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop

“Grasmere Gingerbread is synonymous with the Lake District and the long established culinary traditions that have entwined themselves into the fabric and nature of our unique area,” said Mark. “We were delighted to work with this renowned business and to craft some exclusive culinary creations. Our shared love of our regional traditions and building a sustainable rural economy echoes our ethos of ensuring that the Lake District will provide a future for the next generation to maintain and enjoy!”

Hawkshead Relish

Visit the Hawkshead Relish website – www.hawksheadrelish.com

Products Sold:

Chilli, Lime and Ginger Jelly – £2.95
Sarah’s Special Ginger Syrup – £2.50
(both products available in our ‘Hot and Spicy’ Gift Box

To buy these please click here

Heaton Cooper Studio

Heaton Cooper Studio

Neighbours of the Grasmere Gingerbread Shop, the Heaton Cooper Studio in Grasmere Village is composed of three galleries exhibiting and selling the much-loved works of the Heaton Cooper family of artists, as well as sculptures by Ophelia Gordon Bell. The Studio supplies the iconic “After Sunset” gift card to the Grasmere Gingerbread Shop.

Working with The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop

“It’s a great idea for Cumbrian businesses to work with each other and to promote each other’s products via their websites,” said Becky Heaton Cooper, Manager of the Heaton Cooper Studio and grand-daughter of William Heaton Cooper. “In a county that relies on tourism for its livelihood it’s incredibly important that like-minded local businesses work together to help build a sustainable economy.”

Heaton Cooper Studio

Visit the Heaton Cooper Studio website – www.heatoncooper.com

Products Sold:

After Sunset, Grasmere greeting card – £1.65

To buy these please click here

Invite you to the do .co.uk

Invite you to the do .co.uk

Invite you to the do .co.uk was established in 2005 after bride-to-be Leanne Harkness spent several frustrating weeks fruitlessly searching for suitable stationery for her wedding. After chatting to her mother Dawn, who had worked in arts and crafts for many years, the duo decided to combine their skills and created “perfect” cards for Leanne’s special day. Not only that, but the seeds of a special business partnership were sown. “We really made the perfect partnership,” explained Leanne, “as the combination of my computer skills and my mother’s handcraft abilities started to produce some inspiring and original results.” As the company’s reputation grew, demand soared for their designer bespoke cards and stationery. Leanne was delighted when the Grasmere Gingerbread Shop approached her to make special cards for their renowned business. “It really touched my heart making these gorgeous little gingerbread cards as I absolutely love making unique cards for special occasions,” added Dawn. Invite you to the do.co.uk now offer customers a wide range of cards and stationery – including place cards, table triangles, cake boxes and invitations – and are always willing to weave in new and inspirational ideas to help celebrate a customer’s special occasion!

Working with The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop

“After spending many weekends in Grasmere as a child there has always been a special place in my heart for the Grasmere Gingerbread shop,” said Leanne. “I was delighted when Joanne Hunter approached me about designing some unique cards for her. I love the Lake District and I love keeping things local in Cumbria, so I couldn’t have been happier to be associated with her and her successful Cumbrian business.”

Invite you to the do

Visit the Invite you to the do website – www.inviteyoutothedo.co.uk

Products Sold:

Gingerbread couple card with hearts             – £1.65
Gingerbread man and woman card                – £1.65
Handmade Wooden gingerbread man card  – £2.95

To buy these please click here

Leanne can also decorate our wedding favour boxes – please call for further information.
To see wedding favour options please click here

Kendal Cordials

Kendal Cordials

Kendal Cordials was established in June 2009, when Mike and Helen Hindle decided to have an alcohol-free fortnight. “We went out and bought a range of cordials so that we would have something to sip at in the evenings,” explained Mike. “However, all the cordials we found were a bit disappointing had extremely high sugar content and were full of artificial ingredients, so we decided to have a bash at making our own!” And having made elderflower cordial in the past, the couple understood the basic principles. “Mike is a real ginger fan, so we started experimenting with ginger cordial recipes until we came up with a cordial that we loved, and so did friends who tasted it,” said Helen. “We were particularly pleased that we had come up with a cordial that was delicious but made entirely from natural ingredients. One friend asked us why our cordials were not available in shops, and Kendal Cordials was born. It has really snowballed since then and we now have a large range of cordials and soft drinks.”

Working with The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop

“As a child, no visit to Grasmere was complete without the treat of a visit to the Grasmere Gingerbread shop. We knew that The Grasmere Gingerbread Company had a strong ethos of supporting and working with Cumbrian producers so we popped in for a chat and took along some Ginger Cordial. They loved it and immediately placed an order,” said Mike. Then the shop asked if Kendal Cordials could produce an Old Fashioned Ginger Wine. “As is turned out, Mike’s mum had a recipe her Granny used for making ginger wine and with a little tweak here and there, Sarah’s Old Fashioned Ginger Wine began appearing on the shelves and in the Hampers at the Gingerbread Shop,” explained Helen.

Kendal Cordials

Visit the Kendal Cordials website – www.kendalcordials.co.uk

Products Sold:

Ginger Cordial – £2.95
Ginger Wine – £5.95 (Ginger Wine available in the Ultimate Cumbrian Hamper)

To buy these please click here

Moorlands Candles

Moorlands Candles

Currently celebrating its 20th anniversary, Alston-based Moorlands Candles was inspired by Danish candlemaker Kurt Saybe. Owner Ted Thompson and his small team produce quality hand-dipped products made from paraffin wax, vegetable oil and Yorkshire beeswax. The company has supplied the wholefood co-operative Suma for two decades and their beautifully decorated candles can be found at discerning arts and crafts shops. In addition the company sell a range of delightful candle holders made exclusively for them by Belltree Forge. On Millennium Night, Glastonbury Tor was illuminated by special outdoor flares made by Moorlands Candles.

Working with The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop

“I have been supplying ginger candles to The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop for about five or six years,” explained Ted. “We get excellent publicity and orders through the association and it’s really great that Joanne looks to work with and actively promote other small businesses in Cumbria. We use ginger and cinnamon to scent the Grasmere Gingerbread candles and paprika essence to colour them – they are exclusive to the shop and are very natural products.”

Moorlands Candles

Visit Moorlands Candles’ website – www.moorlands-candles.co.uk

Products Sold:

Ginger Candles (traditional twin pack) – £2.75
(see opposite)
Stumpy Ginger Candle – £3.95

To buy these please click here

Pure Lakes

Pure Lakes

The award-winning Pure Lakes, established by Sandra and Iain Blackburn in 2007, produces a range of natural skin care products including bath and body gels, facial skin care creams and dedicated ranges for men and babies. Sandra, who has a background in chemistry, ensures that all her ingredients are natural and kind to the skin. The company has won several business awards including those recognising their commitment to sustainability. It is based in Staveley, near Kendal.

Working with The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop

After Joanne of The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop approached Pure Lakes in 2010 to produce a dedicated ginger and orange hand cream, its subsequent sales success prompted an extension of the range into a body wash, body lotion and lip balm. “The ginger and orange essential oil mix was not one that we used in our Pure Lakes range so we were happy to work with The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop – which is an established and iconic brand – and create exclusive products for them,” said Pure Lakes joint partner Iain Blackburn. “The success of the hand cream shows that customers of The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop are also interested in other products that are ginger-related which promotes extra interest in the shop and additional sales for us. It’s a win-win situation and I think it is something other companies should be thinking of doing.”

Pure Lakes

Romney's Kendal Mint Cake

Romney’s Kendal Mint Cake

Established in 1936 by the late Sam T Clarke, Romney’s has remained a small family business and is now with the fourth generation of the founder’s family. Their delicious Kendal Mint Cake achieved a priceless PR high when it was carried to the top of Mount Everest in May 1953 on the first successful expedition to the summit.

Working with The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop

“It is very important for smaller Cumbrian businesses to work together and during the summer months we supply several boxes of Kendal Mint Cake a week to The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop,” said John Baron, director of Romney’s Kendal Mint Cake. “We have hundreds of outlets throughout Cumbria but it is great to be sitting alongside Grasmere Gingerbread at the village shop. It attracts so many tourists every year and a lot of them will be walkers and climbers who like to pack a bar of Kendal Mint Cake.”

Romney's Kendal Mint Cake

Visit Romney’s Kendal Mint Cake website – www.kendal.mintcake.co.uk

Products Sold:

White mint cake
Brown mint cake
Chocolate coated mint cake

To buy these please click here

Runkels Crafts

Runkels Crafts

German-born and former teacher Barbara Runkel’s delightful gingerbread men evoke the rich history of wooden toy and decoration production in her native land. Hand-carved from a variety of sustainably harvested hardwoods such as oak, ash, elm, cherry, sycamore and walnut – and also from recycled sources such as disused beehives – her gingerbread men are available as a keyring, fridge magnet and hanging decoration from The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop. They also adorn the tops of the popular Wedding Favour boxes. Barbara, who lives in Kirkoswald, near Penrith, also makes a variety of wooden Christmas decorations which she sells at festive fairs, including Manchester and York, around the country.

Working with The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop

“It’s been a fantastic working partnership as it gives me a steady income stream throughout the year,” said Barbara. “I am constantly working – as it is a time-consuming business – but I am only really selling at Christmas time. So I was very pleased when Joanne Hunter approached me a few years ago and asked if I could supply The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop. It is a very popular tourist attraction and a lot of her customers get to see my work which they might not otherwise see.”

Runkels Crafts

The Toffee Shop

The Toffee Shop

Established just after the First World War, The Toffee Shop in Penrith, a short drive from Junction 40 of the M6, is a shrine to those who love high-quality toffee and fudge. Described as the best fudge in the world by Lord Lichfield and the best fudge in England by Jancis Robinson, its success boils down to a simple recipe, superb ingredients and diligent stirring in eight brass pans by dedicated fudge makers! Similarly, the shop’s wonderful toffee is handmade and packs a powerful punch. As an existing customer of The Toffee Shop through his business at Highgrove, Prince Charles visited the premises in 2003 and even had a go at stirring the toffee. The Toffee Shop started supplying The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop with fudge and toffee twenty five years ago.

Working with The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop

“It’s great working with The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop, it has a big footfall of customers – especially in the summer – when we are supplying them with fortnightly orders,” said Neil Boustead, owner of The Toffee Shop. Of three high-quality producers in Cumbria – his own, Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding and The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop – he observed: “I think of these three businesses as really iconic brands and it’s really important that Cumbrians and visitors to the area recognise that high-quality producers are working together in some way to promote the region and what it offers.”

The Toffee Shop

The Ultimate Food Company - Ultimate Plum Puddings

The Ultimate Food Company – Ultimate Plum Puddings

The Kendal-based Ultimate Food Company has been making memorable puddings for 23 years – including desserts made of sponge as well as their award-winning Ultimate Plum Pudding. Their sticky toffee and chocolate & ginger puddings were featured in the Sunday Times Christmas Present List as one of the best gifts for under £10. They supply plum puddings to The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop.

Working with The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop

Bernice Humphries, a director of The Ultimate Food Company, said: “We’ve been supplying plum puddings to The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop for about ten years. We get increased turnover and it’s nice to work with other local Cumbrian suppliers and businesses. Like Grasmere Gingerbread, ours is a traditional product.”

The Ultimate Food Company

Visit the Ultimate Food website – www.ultimatefood.co.uk

Products Sold:

Ultimate Plum Pudding – Now available on-line click here – various sizes available.

The Sweetmeat Company

The Sweetmeat Company

The Sweetmeat Company was established in 2011 by Lizzie Smith (following the success of her award-winning range of fruit compotes sold under her brand Lizzie’s Hand Made). Preserving the delicious taste of sumptuous British summer fruit juices, her sweetmeats, fruit jellies and pate de fruit are moreish bursts of natural flavour. Lizzie supplies two flavours of jellies to The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop – Blackcurrant and Ginger and Bramley Apple and Ginger.

Working with The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop

“It’s fantastic being able to supply jellies incorporating zingy ginger to the family business that puts this fabulous spice on the map in Cumbria,” said Lizzie Smith. “I’ve always loved Grasmere Gingerbread© and greatly admire their ethos of working with and supporting other high-quality food producers across the region.”

Sweatmeats

Visit The Sweetmeat Company website – www.thesweetmeatcompany.co.uk

Products Sold:

Fruit Jellies – Now available on-line click here

Wild & Fruitful

Wild & Fruitful

Using fruits and berries hand-picked from private gardens, orchards and the fields and hedgerows of pastoral Cumbria, Wild & Fruitful is a renowned producer of high-quality jams, chutneys, marmalades and jellies. Former landscape architect Jane Maggs established the business more than ten years ago, dedicated to creating taste sensations from local natural flavours. The business has featured extensively in newspapers, magazines and on radio and television. Her products are still produced exclusively in the kitchen of her Cumbrian home. Wild & Fruitful produce an exclusive range of preserves for The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop including ginger curd, rhubarb and ginger jam and strawberry and ginger jam.

Working with The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop

“It’s brilliant supplying The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop as it’s a real showcase for our produce,” said Jane. “We’ve been committed to reducing food miles long before it became fashionable which is why we source all our ingredients from a network of people in Cumbria. Having our produce in the shop in Grasmere enables us to reach a wider audience without having to transport it huge distances.” Jane praised The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop for encouraging high-quality Cumbrian producers to work together. “I love the fact that our curds and jams are sold alongside other really innovative and high-quality products in Joanne’s amazing shop.”

Wild & Fruitful
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