In April we received the award for the Best Expanding Business from the Rural Woman’s Network.
Following on from this we were runners up in the National Farmers Union ‘Farm Diversification’ Awards.
Our greatest achievement of 2002 was being awarded SILVER at the Great Taste Awards in London for our Pickled Damsons and BRONZE for our Glace Fruit Cake.
In May we were visited by Rick Stein for the making of ‘Rick Steins Food Heroes…Another Bite’. The programme was screened in September of that year and many times since. We now have the honour of being an official Rick Stein Food Hero.
In July Jamie Oliver’s chef school came to visit. We had a very pleasant day showing the trainees how to bake some of our delicious cakes and biscuits.
In the 2003 Great Taste Awards we added to the success of 2002 when we received GOLD for our Rich Fruit Christmas Cake, and 2 BRONZE Awards for our Ginger Biscuits and Glace Fruit Cake. We are very proud that in this year we started to supply Asda through Plumgarths, it has been an ongoing success for the last 7 years and we are particularly proud of the fact that anyone at anytime can buy our locally produced products. We get a lot of very positive feedback from the general public.
In March we extended the premises of Country Fare by 100% to cater for an ever-increasing demand, making a new packing room, but this was very soon full.
In the 2004 Great Taste Awards, we added to the success of the two previous years by gaining GOLD with our Ginger Biscuits and BRONZE with the Nutty Fruit Cake.
2004 was rounded-off very successfully when, in November, we started supplying ‘Artisan’ at Booths supermarket with an extensive range of cakes and biscuits.
Dianne met with HRH Prince Charles and Sir Edwin Booth, chairman of Booths, during the Prince’s visit to Kendal where he visited Booths supermarket and Artisan.
In the 2005 Great Taste Awards, we added to the success of the three previous years by gaining GOLD for our Gingerbread and 2 BRONZE for our Date and Walnut Cake and Sticky Toffee Pudding
The Daily Express Magazine listed us in the 20 things to buy for Christmas and Prima magazine rated us as one of the best 4 Christmas cakes. In the 2006 Great Taste Awards we won GOLD for our Iced Christmas cake, SILVER for the Glace Celebration cake and BRONZE for the Glace Fruit cake.
We were delighted to be awarded a contract with Lakeland, to supply them with my mum’s own recipe for Glace Fruit cake; this was featured in the Sunday Telegraph Magazine as one of the best things in the north of England.
The bakery expanded again. We now have all the Hay Barn and Cow Shed converted into a state of the art ‘artisan’ bakery.
We again won 2 GOLD Great Taste Awards for our Glace Celebration Cake and our Ginger Biscuits.
We invested in a flow wrapper from Italy, this speeded up the packing considerably and has made our products look much smarter.
Country Fare surpassed all expectations this year by winning an incredible 5 Great Taste Awards. Two Gold Stars for our Iced Baby Fruit Cake, this is the same recipe used in all our Christmas Cakes. In the British Regional Cake Section our Sticky Gingerbread won Two Gold Stars, this was the highest award given out in this section.
Gold One Star was also achieved in three categories including the Nutty Baby Fruit Cake, Shortbread Biscuits and Lakeland Glace Fruit Cake.
Tasked with producing make an exclusive Gluten free fruit cake for Lakeland, the bakery expanded to included a dedicated, certified, Gluten Free Kitchen. 3 Geat Taste Awards were achieved this year for our Luxury Mince Pies (made from my Grandma Sayers’ recipe), Rich Fruit Cake and our Gluten Free Brandy Fruit Cake.
Lakeland stocked 3 of our cakes. To meet the demand, we expanded yet again!
We were delighted when the Daily Mail contacted us wanting to do an article on Country Fare, I was amazed to find myself on the front page of the Weekend magazine along with a lovely two page editorial and photograph of the team inside. We have had lots of interest resulting from the article.
We have now reached a grand total of 27 Great Taste awards, this year winning 4 Great Taste Awards for our Gluten Free Brandy Fruit Cake, Luxury Mince Pies, Nutty Fruit Cake and our new Summer Fruit Cake, this I invented as it is my ambition that everyone will eat fruit cake all year round, not just for Christmas, as we love making them.
We continue to have the same very strong ethos; all the cakes are made from family recipes, by hand in the traditional manner. We use local Free-Range Eggs, Milk, Flour and Butter in our baking you really can taste the difference. It’s also our policy to use minimum packaging.