165 years after it was first made and started attracting curious visitors to its door, Grasmere Gingerbread® has been formally recognised by Cumbria Tourism (CT).
At its annual dinner held at Cartmel Racecourse, the world-renowned family business won CT’s first-ever Makers and Producers Award.
“It’s as though Sarah Nelson – who invented Grasmere Gingerbread® and started selling it to the Lake District’s first tourists in 1854 – has been personally acknowledged for what she did for the county’s fledgling tourism industry,” said Andrew Hunter, co-owner of the 4th generation family business.
A cross between a spicy biscuit and cake, Grasmere Gingerbread® is still made inside Sarah’s original Church Cottage home – now The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop.
Over the years it has attracted millions of tourists from around the world.
It’s a far cry from Sarah Nelson’s early days when she sold it to passers-by from a tree stump outside her front door.
Later, increasing numbers of tourists arrived in horse-driven coaches which disembarked next door to the shop.
Gill Haigh, Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism said Grasmere Gingerbread® was a worthy winner and a well-known part of the county’s £3billion tourism industry.
“The industry supports around 65,000 jobs – 20% of the county’s total employment,’ she said
The 2019 Awards attracted a record-breaking number of entries and the quality was ‘jaw dropping’ said Gill.
She was ‘tremendously proud’ of Grasmere Gingerbread® which delivered a word-class experience for visitors.
Andrew collected the award with his daughter Yasmine – the business’s Sales & Marketing Manager.
The 4th generation member of the Hunter family to help run the business, she was thrilled by the award.
“We all work hard to make The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop experience a personal and rewarding one for every single visitor,” she said.