Christmas comes early for Grantham Gingerbread
Christmas has come early for the founder of Hawkens Gingerbread in Grantham.
Alastair Hawken, who created the original Grantham Gingerbread, has been counting down to the big day since July to cope with a surge of orders as more people turned to online shopping throughout lockdown.
After moving his business online when Covid hit in March 2020, Alastair and his team focused on building their brand and online presence so they could come out of lockdown stronger.
As more people went online, Alastair was able to grow his business.
He said: “I think the past 18 months have really highlighted how online is now so important. When we went in tier 4 last November we received a rush of orders from new customers as more retail premises started creating hampers. We ended up having to turn down some orders to cope with the demand.”
Determined to plan ahead this year, Alastair and his team, who are based in the former home of the Salvation Army in the Citadel on London Road, started planning for this Christmas three months ago.
Alastair added: “Grantham gingerbread is still our biggest selling product. We have been here since 2015 and business has grown each year. Last year was amazing and we closed the year 84 per cent up.
“We are already 70 per cent up on 2020. We are really excited to see what’s in store for next year.”
Grantham gingerbread was first baked in Grantham in 1740 by local baker William Eggleston. After discovering that this locally produced delicacy had fallen out of production, Alastair, who was chairman of Grantham Business Club at the time, set about trying to bring it
After being unable to find a local baker willing to start making the gingerbread in Grantham, Alastair started baking it himself above his Panini shop in Westgate before moving to London Road.