Working together

Share our passion for superb food

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.

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 Hunter, a partner in Grasmere Gingerbread

Abbott Lodge near Penrith is owned by Claire and Steven Bland who established their Jersey cow herd in 2002. They produce bottled milk and over 30 flavours of ice cream. It is one of the area’s most popular visitor attractions and includes an adventure playground for children, and tearoom with a viewing window into the milk production process. The farm milks 170 Jersey cows which enjoy a provenance dating back to 1763. With a low carbon footprint – as the cows wander directly from the fields into the robotic milking parlour – the phrase is food steps not food miles. Abbott Lodge makes the popular Grasmere Gingerbread® ice cream which is sold outside The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop.

Working with The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop

“We were delighted when Joanne and Andrew invited us to make their Grasmere Gingerbread® ice cream using Just Jersey milk from our herd,” said Claire. “Like ours, Grasmere Gingerbread is a family business, and it’s nice to be able to just pop down the road and deliver the ice cream directly from our diary to the shop.”

Products Sold:

Grasmere Gingerbread ice cream ONLY outside The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop on warm days!

Bentham Pottery is based in Low Bentham, North Yorkshire, near Kirkby Lonsdale in Cumbria. It was established in 1976 by husband and wife team Kathy and Barrie Cartledge and now their son Lee is also active in the business. This highly-regarded family firm produces a wide range of high-quality domestic stoneware pottery, commemorative plates, mugs, bespoke pots and house signs. All their products are hand-crafted using a traditional potter’s wheel. As well as selling directly to customers from a gallery at their pottery, Bentham Pottery sells its wares in selected craft shops, art galleries, and cafes. See Lee Cartledge throwing a mug here (Youtube Link).

Working with The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop

“We have been big fans of eating Grasmere Gingerbread for a long time and are absolutely delighted to be supplying such a well-established iconic Lakeland business with our mugs,” said Lee.

Visit the Bentham Pottery website –

Bespoke Aroma provides a range of natural bath and body products that nurture the skin. Unlike many manufacturers, Bespoke Aroma only uses 100% natural essential oils and completely avoids known skin irritants and synthetic fragrances. Most products are vegan friendly. Their range includes bath tea infusions, skin moisturising creams, facial oil, pillow mist, a lip balm and pulse point roller balls.

Bespoke Aroma products can be found in select high street shops, luxury hotels and at their own online store.

Working with The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop

“I was contacted by Joanne  from The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop as she was looking for a local business to produce an exclusive gingerbread pot pourri for their online shop,” says Jo Evans, owner of Bespoke Aroma. “After some experimentation and a few smell tests with Joanne I created the mix that goes into Sarah’s Spicy Gingerbread Pot Pourri. Since launching at Christmas 2016 it has proved a huge hit with many repeat orders coming through.”   

Visit Bespoke Aroma at

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.”

Visit the Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding Company –

Products Sold:

Cartmel Sticky Toffee Sauce – £2.95

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 healthy culture of local Cumbrian food producers working together. It also gives us another platform to promote our products and associates us directly with a hugely iconic Cumbrian brand.”

Visit the Country Flavour website –

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.”

Visit Farrers –

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.”

Contact Neil via email:

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!”

Visit the Hawkshead Relish website –

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.”

Visit the Heaton Cooper Studio website –
Situated in the Victorian Arcade on Crag Brow, Bowness on Windermere, Huttons Chocolates has been tempting visitors and locals alike with a mouth-watering array of handmade chocolates, truffles and fudge since 1901. It even survived the years of strict WW2 rationing by exchanging prized sugar coupons for bags of dairy toffee or fudge. Today, this thriving family-run business enjoys a fine reputation for the high quality of its hand-dipped truffles, made with only the finest chocolate, fresh local cream and superior liqueurs.


Working with The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop

“We have a great relationship with The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop and have been supplying it with ginger truffles and ginger dippers for several years,” said owner Kay Forsgardh. “We are both family business and my daughter Hannah used to work for them in Grasmere. It’s important that small family Cumbrian businesses help each other by working together to promote the amazing range of unique products from our wonderful county.” 

Visit Huttons Chocolates at

Products Sold:

Sarah’s Ginger Truffles – £5.95

Ginger Dippers (Melts) £2.50 – Not available on the web

Workington-based Marie Pearson took over the business in 2015 and its reputation for bespoke stationery for all occasions continues to grow. Its high-quality hand-crafted range includes greetings cards, place cards, orders of service, guest books, menus, seating plans, table triangles, cake boxes and invitations. Marie works closely with individual customers to create something unique and memorable.

Working with The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop

“I’ve known about The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop all my life and it’s great to be working with such an iconic business,” said Marie. “I’ve always loved the Lake District so I’m really happy to be associated with one of its greatest attractions.”

Visit the Invite you to the do website –

Products Sold:

Gingerbread couple card with hearts – £1.65
Gingerbread man and woman card – £1.65
Handmade Wooden gingerbread man card – £2.95 This incorporates a handmade wooden gingerbread man made by another of our suppliers, Runkels Crafts near Penrith.

Marie can also decorate our Wedding Favour boxes – please call for further information.
To see Wedding Favour options please click here.

“Kendal Cordials was established in April 2009 when we produced an elderflower cordial, following a recipe of Helen’s parents, using locally sourced elderflower. Soon afterwards we developed our own ginger cordial, using fresh root ginger and a splash of lemon. We now produce a range of delicious cordials from a small unit at our home near Kirkby Lonsdale. We pride ourselves in making delicious drinks that contain no artificial preservatives, sweeteners or stabilisers.” Helen and Andrew

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 Helen. Then the shop asked if Kendal Cordials could produce an Old Fashioned Ginger Wine. “As it turned out, we had a recipe 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.” 

Visit the Kendal Cordials website –

Products Sold:

Ginger Cordial – £2.95
Ginger Wine 330ml- £3.95 (Ginger Wine 750ml available in the Ultimate Cumbrian Hamper)

In 1986, David Kennedy started a retail business in Edinburgh selling imported handmade Belgian chocolates, eventually re-locating and teaming up with his sister, Alison Kennedy, to make their own chocolates from a small workshop in Orton in Cumbria. Alison was formerly Head Patissier at the famous Sharrow Bay Hotel on Ullswater and whilst under the tutelage of Francis Coulson won a Winston Churchill Fellowship to study chocolate making & patisserie in Switzerland & France. Kennedys Fine Chocolates have been making chocolates at the former village school in Orton for more than 27 years now.

Working with The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop

“We are delighted to supply our Ginger ‘Scatty’ Chocolate Bars to The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop,” said David Kennedy “There’s mutual benefit for local food producers in Cumbria to work together. It helps to raise awareness of our great tasting products, particularly to the many tourists that come to Cumbria each year and who may never have heard of either of us before. I’ve known Joanne & Andrew for many years. We’re very pleased to get regular orders from The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop.”

Visit Kennedys Fine Chocolates –

Products Sold:

Plain Chocolate Bar with Ginger Pieces (available in our Ultimate Hamper)

Cumbrian craftsman Mark Heslop creates beautifully finished wooden boxes for the Grasmere Gingerbread® gift box set which contains 12 pieces of Grasmere Gingerbread® and a jar of Cumberland Rum Butter. The box is made from poplar wood and finished with Danish oil by Mark at his workshop at Alston in Cumbria. Then the Grasmere Gingerbread Shop apply a charming blue stencil image of the shop on the lid. A lovely gift.

Working with The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop

“It’s great being associated with such a high-profile business as The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop,” said Mark. “It’s nice to be part of their local supplier network and the finished gift boxes look really nice.”

Hand-Crafted Wooden Gift Box Set

Contact Mark on Tel: 07748797709

Products Sold:

Hand-Crafted Wooden Gift Box Set – £24.95 (see opposite)

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.”

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.”

Visit Pure Lakes –

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.”

Visit Romney’s Kendal Mint Cake website –

Products Sold:

White Mint Cake
Brown Mint Cake
Chocolate coated Mint Cake

(Chocolate covered After Dinner Mints are also available in our ‘Ultimate Cumbrian Hamper‘)

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.”

Visit Runkels Crafts website –

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.”

Visit The Toffee Shop website –

Silversmith Julie Brockbank is inspired by the natural world all around her. From the natural waxing and waning of the moon to the ripples on the surface of Lake Windermere, the beauty of nature finds its way into her exquisite pieces – all hand-crafted in the peaceful ambience of her garden studio. ‘Each piece is unique, totally individual. My hope as a designer is that they give the wearer pleasure for many years to come,’ she says.

Working with The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop

“I was contacted by Joanne Hunter from The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop after she noticed a pair of my earrings on one of her counter staff,’ she explains. ‘She had bought them from my stall at a country show so Joanne decided to get in touch. I was absolutely delighted when she commissioned me to make exclusive gingerbread men earrings for The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop. I’ve known about wonderful Grasmere Gingerbread® all my life so it is really exciting to be working with them at last!”

Visit Tilly Mint Silver website –

Wild & Fruitful has perfected preserves and refined relishes for more than 20 exciting culinary years. Dedicated to reducing food miles, it has always striven to source local ingredients. Moreover, company founder Jane Maggs developed vibrant relationships with individual Cumbrian growers and the business continues to produce delicious food from the countryside. Using a traditional ‘open pan’ method for making preserves, every product is 100% natural with no artificial colours or additives. Now under new ownership, Wild & Fruitful recently refurbished their kitchens, rebranded, and expanded their range to complement the premium quality of their unique artisan food products. Dynamic, award-winning, Keswick-born chef Jake Winter’s passion for Cumbrian produce has already forged new partnerships with local growers and ingredient suppliers. He is developing new flavours – including many exclusive combinations – and is creating a special range of traditional Cumbrian food delicacies. Wild & Fruitful produces a select range of preserves and relishes for Grasmere Gingerbread® which are sold under the ‘Sarah’s’ brand. These include Ginger Curd, Rhubarb and Ginger Jam, Strawberry and Ginger Jam and the exceptional Damson, Ginger and Gunpowder Tea Jam which is made from Cumbrian damsons.

Working with The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop

“Wild & Fruitful values its partnership with Grasmere Gingerbread®. Both companies produce high-quality Cumbrian foodstuffs with provenance. Having our products sold by such an iconic Lakeland business establishment is great source of pride.”

Visit the Wild & Fruitful website –

As the name suggests, Mr Duffin’s Coffee (which incorporates The Coffee Den takeaway in Staveley) is owned by Steven and Eleanor Duffin. Run to strict ethical trading practices, this small family business only buys and roasts 100% Arabica Speciality Coffee Beans from reputable importers who, in turn, work directly with farmers to ensure that they and their communities are fairly rewarded for their endeavours and their environment is safeguarded. Mr Duffin’s Coffee is much loved by locals and visitors alike. To enjoy a perfect cup of coffee, they simply follow their nose...

Working with The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop

“We were delighted to create ‘Sarah’s Comfort Coffee’ for The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop, an iconic business that we believe shares our values of fair trade, high-quality products and excellent customer service. There is nothing more invigorating than a freshly-brewed cup of our coffee and a freshly-baked slice of their Grasmere Gingerbread®…” – Eleanor Duffin.

Visit Mr Duffin’s Coffee website at

Product sold: 

Sarah Nelson's Comfort Coffee

250g bag of freshly ground medium bodied coffee.

What began as a hobby for Cumbrian sisters Lucy Atkinson and Emma Little is now a burgeoning artisan craft business. In just 18 months, their Little St Cloud Company has forged a reputation for producing high-quality scented soy wax candles, wax melts and diffusers. “Previously, my career was in the NHS for 17 years and Emma worked in accounts, but we decided to move into something that we would really enjoy and which could fit in more equably with family life,” explained Lucy. Having used social media and local craft fairs to advertise and sell their products, Lucy and Emma are thrilled to have created a Grasmere Gingerbread® scented candle in a jar. “It is absolutely exclusive to Grasmere Gingerbread® and not something that we will be selling to our customers,” added Emma.

Working with The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop

“We have, of course, visited The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop many, many times down the years as it is one of those things you HAVE to do when you are in Grasmere,” said Emma. “Creating a candle for Grasmere Gingerbread® is a wonderful opportunity and we feel proud to be associated with such a historic and friendly Lakeland business,” added Lucy.

Visit The Little St Cloud Company website at

In his mid-20s, Stuart Hann was diagnosed with a rare eye condition that left him registered legally blind. However, it hasn’t stopped him following his dream and opening a chocolate shop in his home town of Staveley. By turning what could have been a negative into a positive, Stuart bills himself as The Blind Chocolatier and cleverly promotes ‘Hann-made’ chocolates on his website. Stuart, now 33, produces a range of flavoured milk and dark chocolates, either as individual chocolates in boxes or speciality bars, as well as chocolate wedding favours.

Working with The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop

“It’s great to be working with such a well-known, established Lake District brand with such a massive customer reach,” said Stuart. “Joanne has also asked me to produce versions covered in dark and milk chocolate so our working relationship is going from strength to strength.”

Visit The Blind Chocolatier website at or the shop The Blind Chocolatier in Staveley Mill Yard, Staveley, Cumbria.