Home economist Jane Stammers has spent the last five years developing a toolkit to support local food producers.
Now she is putting her advice into practice with the launch of her own cake-making business.
When her Lottery-funded role came to an end last June, Jane turned to what she knew best and, egged on by enthusiastic friends, turned her love of baking into a full-time career.
The result is Tipple Tales, which she runs from her home at Wadsley Hall Farm, Hillsborough, using a friend’s commercial kitchen to make her luxury fruit cakes.
Ingredients are all locally sourced – from butter, flour and free range eggs, to paper cases – and even the mini tins are made in London, instead of being mass-produced abroad.
As an experienced marketeer, Jane knew she had to come up with something really special if she was to succeed: “My cakes had to be better than anything else.” So she turned to Andy Gardiner of Beatson House restaurant for her secret ingredient: his award-winning Boozy Infusion liqueurs. She uses these to feed the cakes, made to her own special recipe, with whole cherries, whole nuts and plump vine fruit.
Jane now produces two flavours of fruit cake – Jamaica Ginger and Cherry Bakewell – and plans to add more as the business takes off.
And the icing on the cake was hitting on the name Tipple Tails: “Very appropriately it is Yorkshire speak for head-over-heels, or to bend over backwards to do something.”
Tipple Tales are already stocked at a number of local delicatessens and farm shops and will shortly be available from the website, reallygoodfruitcake.co.uk, priced £12.95.