Grasmere Gingerbread® is the BEST family business in the UK!

L-R: Yasmine, Andrew and Joanne Hunter collect their award

CUMBRIA’S Grasmere Gingerbread® is celebrating its 164th birthday with a stunning national accolade

The 4th generation business was given the Special Achievement Award in Entrepreneurship at the 2018 Family Business of the Year Awards at the May Fair Hotel in London.

“We were so shocked when our name was read out,” said Joanne Hunter who, along with husband Andrew, own and manage the historic attraction.

Invented in 1854 by humble Victorian cook Sarah Nelson, Grasmere Gingerbread® is now feted by celebrity chefs, showbusiness stars, royalty and it is exported globally.

Organised by Family Business United (FBU), the national Family Business of the Year Awards acknowledge the amazing contribution made to the UK economy by family firms.

Paul Andrews, Managing Director of Family Business United, said Grasmere Gingerbread® “continued to push the boundaries” by sending products all over the world.

“Its small team – family and non-family – come together with shared values and a focus on the future, opening up new opportunities too.

“Grasmere Gingerbread® itself is a great product and the business has drive, determination and a long-term approach.

“Hopefully, this will ensure that Grasmere Gingerbread® is enjoyed for generations to come.”

Earlier in the evening Grasmere Gingerbread® was also announced as runner-up in the Food & Drink Family Business of the Year Award.

“For us the best really was saved for last and it was wonderful to have our eldest daughter Yasmine, who works in the business, sitting alongside us,” added Joanne.

“She has the vision to take us into the future.”

For husband Andrew it was the culmination of 18 years hard work and dedication.

“Since we took over in 2000 we have worked hard to honour the legacy of Sarah Nelson’s Grasmere Gingerbread® by growing her original business into something she could be proud of,”

“We are now open the whole year round, employ 16 people and run a busy mail order service nationally and internationally to satisfy customer demand.”

The business has also diversified into wedding favours, ginger-flavoured food products and ginger-themed gifts – many of which are sourced from other Cumbrian family businesses.

Earlier this year Grasmere Gingerbread® was named the Best Food Producer in the Cumbria Family Business Awards.

Grasmere Gingerbread® – a spicy-sweet cross between a biscuit and a cake – is made from Sarah Nelson’s original hand-written secret recipe which is stored in a bank vault in Windermere.

In 2016 Prince Charles visited the Grasmere Gingerbread Shop, saw behind the scenes and met staff.