Gingerbread maker puts Grantham customers before film project

Alastair Hawken with his Grantham Gingerbread
Alastair Hawken with his Grantham Gingerbread
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Grantham Gingerbread’s Alastair Hawken has decided to focus on local customers and pulled out of an unconfirmed project to create a life-size gingerbread house for a film company.

Mr Hawken had been approached to produce 130sq metres of Grantham’s famous gingerbread, to form the outer cladding of a house for a big event next month in Trafalgar Square.

It was to promote the upcoming ‘Shrek Far Away Adventure’ attractions opening in London, based on the hit Dreamworks franchise of films about the friendly green ogre and host of fairytale characters.

However the huge undertaking in such a short space of time would have forced the company, based in Panini on Westgate, to prioritise this over their regular work, and in the end Mr Hawken has decided to focus on his local customers.

“I was already having to turn away local work, which I really didn’t want to do,” he explains. “And I had my concerns about it all. They hadn’t fully signed off on the project and I had no assurance it would even go ahead. It would have been fantastic to be a part of it, but there were too many risks.”

Moreover, having asked Mr Hawken at such short notice after the original contracted bakery pulled out, it all seemed very unrealistic to the gingerbread creator.

“They gave me five weeks but I think it would have actually taken months to produce such a substantial amount of gingerbread,” he said.

It has already been a busy year for the company, with Mr Hawken appearing on the BBC’s Great British Railway Journeys with presenter Michael Portillo last month.

Meanwhile Grantham Gingerbread has many more big plans in the pipeline, including setting up a stand-alone bakery on Guildhall Street.