Traditional Baking with a Twist
With the Great British Bake Off cake craze taking hold in Britain – and austerity measures everywhere, more people are opting for afternoon tea at home – everyone, it seems wants a slice of properly made cake.
Former dinner lady Allison Whitmarsh saw the gap in the market four years ago when she took advantage of a ‘Business Mine’ grant and set up ProperMaid in Huddersfield, creating homemade cookies, loaves and ‘traditional cakes with a twist’ that have since won many awards.
“Tea and cake has always been a great Yorkshire tradition, and I got my baking inspiration from my gran,’’ says Allison. “Every Sunday we’d go over to taste her teatime treats; there was always a different cake – Madeira, Victoria sponge or coffee & walnut.”
The key to ProperMaid’s success is the passion for ‘proper’ ingredients, if possible locally sourced. Artisan production methods are used (no artifical ingredients or preservatives) and innovative and unusual cake flavours, such as Courgette & lime, Beetroot and Chocolate, Liquorice and (that famous Huddersfield export) Dandelion & Burdock – a Great Taste 2012 Gold Award winner.
More recently, ProperMaid’s cakes have been flying off the shelves at Manchester Airport and at Fenwick department stores in Newcastle and Colchester.
With the current trend in baking and a move towards the more unusual tastes and flavours, I could easily see why, provided the cakes tasted great, looked good and could be delivered consistently this would be a very good Business to be involved with. When Allison started speaking I was immediately struck by her knowledge, clear vision and what she had already achieved from a standing start. When she handed round the cakes all the Dragons agreed they were delicious and unusual....pretty much all the ingredients for success so I made the offer with the plan of bringing Allison together with one of the UK's top food Industry Experts. The only downside I can see is being involved in a Business which makes such tempting produce!