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Butter panic

As many of you know we started as a tiny passion project in the evenings and weekends. A year and half ago a friend came to visit me when I was heavily pregnant. I showed him around some of Cambridge's nice little back streets and we had lunch. After lunch I told him I needed to go to the post office to drop off a parcel. It was a tiny package containing four brownies (we used to do boxes of four). He was aghast. "Is it really worth your time going to the post office for such a small order?". I've known him 20 years, he has always been very practical. It almost certainly wasn't worth it- but that wasn't the point. We were building something new. Well roll on 18 months later and things have grown slowly and steadily- and gradually we couldn't manage to bake in our home kitchen any more, and we needed extra help to get the orders out. I'm still slightly embarrassed to admit that until recently we bought our eggs, butter and vanilla from supermarkets. Its just that that worked perfectly well when we were baking a couple of trays a week and wondering if people would buy them. What really forced our hand to look at our supply lines has been the shortages experienced in lockdown. When suddenly all the supermarkets were out of eggs it got really serious for us, and we had to take a look at our way of doing things. Deep down for a while I knew I should be looking at something more serious in terms of ingredient suppliers- but there was always something else in front of me to do! Like a backlog of orders. One really wonderful side effect of all this has been to look outside of supermarkets for small producers to supply us with products so special we just can't find them anywhere. As you know- we have always used grassfed butter. When it came to looking for a new supplier for this I remembered Saddleworth Butter Company- artisan producers of grassfed butter that I had met at the Real Food Rocks festival the previous summer. Working with them has been a wonderful experience. The butter is made from double cream the day after the cow is milked. It comes beautifully wrapped in greaseproof paper tied with string and has an incredibly light and creamy texture. Knowing exactly where our butter comes from, and having met the people who produce it has felt like a real game changer. Having initially made the change because we couldn't get our usual Kerrygold butter, we now would never go back. I'm also learning the lesson to work on establishing our supplies of other ingredients, so that we are able to keep baking, and keep up with demand as we grow.

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