A Grantham business has been boosted in its aim to go global with interest from America and other parts of the world.
Alastair Hawken’s Grantham Gingerbread venture is already a flowering business with outlets all over the country selling the biscuits made to an original secret recipe from 1740 by William Eggleston who had a bakery in town.
Recently a number of orders have come in from abroad, notably from Nebraska and Washington in the United States. Mr Hawken, who started making the gingerbread about 15 months ago over his Panini’s business in Westgate, said: “It is phenomenal because we are not marketing ourselves there, but they are finding us on the internet. They are quite clearly very interested in the product because they are prepared to pay the expensive shipping costs. We have sold to about 20 customers in the US and around the world.”
The gingerbread is travelling even further because many customers have said they are sending it to expats and friends all over the globe, with the Czech Republic one of the latest destinations.
Mr Hawken hopes to export the gingerbread on a much larger scale in future. Negotiations are also under way with Lincolnshire Co-op which looks likely to sell the biscuits in its 50 outlets.
About 4,000 gingerbread biscuits are made every week, but this will grow to 12,000 by June. The biscuits are hand-made and it takes an hour to make 150 of them. But Mr Hawken has invested in a new machine which is normally used to make boilers - that is carp bait for fishermen! The machine can make 80 balls of dough in three minutes. The balls of dough are important to make the dome-like shape which is characteristic of the Grantham Gingerbread biscuit.
For more information on the history of Grantham gingerbread, stockists and for orders, go to www.granthamgingerbread.com