In the titles of one of my all time favourite TV series, ‘Cold Feet’ (back in the day when I had time to watch TV!) was a saying I’ve always tried to keep in mind, ‘Life is a journey, travel it well’: setting up a new business is definitely one great big journey and I am trying really hard to travel it well!
The journey begins with a rollercoaster of emotions and feelings; trepidation – nervousness – apprehension – excitement – exhilaration – thrill – pleasure to name just a few, which I am sure that people travelling the same path will recognise.
For me, having worked for years in teams and with partner organisations, starting the business has been very isolating at times, but there has also been real joy in meeting and working with some very nice people! And I have had lots of help and support from family and friends too.
Having worked with food for many years and most recently on the Making Local Food Work project, it was very important to me that I used high quality, locally produced ingredients in my cakes or sourced them from local suppliers. Butter for the cakes is sourced from Longley Farm in Holmfirth, free range eggs from Stacey Bank, a couple of miles from home, and flour milled in Driffield by Bradshaws. Vine and glace fruits, nuts, sugar and spice are sourced from Shepcote, a family wholesaler in Driffield and S Hukin, a very long established wholesale business in Sheffield.
I am using the delicious and unusual locally made Boozy Infusion liqueurs developed by Andy Gardiner of Beatson House Restaurant near Barnsley to add a truly unique slant to the Tipple Tails fruit cake.
Local sourcing extends to the packaging and marketing as well, with paper cake cases made in the Peak District; cellophane bags and postal boxes from a Sheffield packaging company; bakers twine is made in Lancashire and, whilst sadly not from Yorkshire, the little cake tins are made in London and not China!
The support from family friend Richard Beres at Beres Pork Sandwich Shops has been fantastic. Having the use of Richard’s production kitchen in the afternoons after his bakers have finished work to make the Tipple Tails cakes has given me access to larger mixers, cake tins and ovens. This enables me to make more cakes than could possibly be made in a domestic kitchen and oven!
Sarah Simpkins and her team from Sheffield branding and design agency Tonik, have developed a lovely light-hearted brand design for me, which emphasises the personal, hand crafted nature of the business!
Follow Jane’s tale of her journey for more insight into how we arrived at the lovely Tipple Tails brand design!