MP visits Grantham Gingerbread factory as it enjoys its strongest year yet
Grantham MP Gareth Davies visited Hawkens Gingerbread’s factory on Friday and heard about the business’s success over the past year.
Founded in 2009 by Alastair Hawken, the business has expanded into the former Salvation Army Citadel on London Road and has reported substantial annual growth despite the impact of the pandemic with an 85 per cent increase in turnover in 2020 compared to 2019.
Mr Davies said: “Gingerbread is one of Grantham’s local specialities with a long history stretching back to the 18th century; it's fantastic that Hawkens is continuing this tradition into the present day and helping to put Grantham on the map. I will do whatever I can to help raise their profile as a great local business.
“Hawkens is a great example of a thriving business founded and based in Grantham, evidenced by their recent growth in sales. I am delighted that they were able to access the Bounce Back Loan Scheme as part of the support measures announced earlier this year as well as expanding their operations by hiring new staff through the Kickstart Scheme.
Mr Hawken praised his team who he said have worked hard over the last five years which has resulted in year on year growth since the brand was formed in 2015.
He said: "2021 will be our strongest year yet as we capitalise further on the strong relationships that we have built up in recent years.
“The growth of our business both online and offline is really exciting and as we enter the next phase of our growth I am mindful of the challenges that will lie ahead for business. To know that we have the full and unreserved support of Gareth Davies as our MP is not just encouraging but reassuring in equal measure. "
The business launched its Covid-19 campaign, its first-ever online campaign, at the end of March, and since then has sold more than 400 gift baskets through its e-commerce store.
Mr Hawken said that with older and vulnerable people isolating alone in mind, the campaign focused on sending hampers and personalised messages to loved ones during a difficult time, with £5 per hamper donated to Age UK.
Although Hawkens Gingerbread was in a strong position before the crisis began, he says the digital arm of the business will be much better utilised post pandemic.