I thought it would be interesting to do a little blog post on my suppliers and share a little behind the scenes of what goes into a BB bake and why I have chosen them to work with.
So let's dive in and start with the most obvious...
I source my flour from Shipton Mill, a company that provides solely organic flour. All my organic milk and free range eggs are dropped off 'old-school-style' by the milkman each week and are sourced from a Suffolk farm down the road. Honestly, when you have farm fresh eggs and see the difference in colour and taste, I defy anyone to go back! The milk also comes in glass bottles that are reused rather than plastic. Woop! Most other dried ingredients, the cocoa powder and nuts come from Whole Foods which provide a great variety of organic options to choose from that can be shipped directly to the door. Sugar is either TradeAid (a company who's profits are used to fund aid relief programmes) or SilverSpoon (grown and produced in East Anglia).
I get the most dreamy Vanilla Paste and essence from LittlePod who are driving change in the Vanilla world and ensure theirs are all sustainably farmed. Their vanilla paste also just tastes SO much better than the stuff you can grab off the shelf in the supermarket. I love it!
My chocolate is currently predominately Callebaut as I love the taste. I use their 28% white chocolate, 33% milk chocolate and 53% dark chocolate. All three are super smooth on the palette and are used as the base for all my bars. Having said that, I am actively searching out an alternative for this as I have learnt this past year that, although each batch is fully traceable and they are doing a lot with their foundation to give back to the areas they farm, the companies ethic on this is far from ideal and my aim for this year is to have found and transitioned away from Callebaut to a smaller supplier that is much more sustainable and in line with my values.
All the colourings I use in my cakes are natural- did you know that?! I only buy the PME 100% natural colourants which are also Kosher, gluten free and alcohol free so they can still be used for most dietary requirement orders too.
I shop small for my packaging too!
My custom printed recyclable boxes are all via the Elite Packaging Company who not only print in the UK but their whole process is in house so you know exactly where everything is made and sourced from. Celloexpress, another small business provide the biodegradable clear bags and I use a local printer in Newmarket for my stickers that are fully recyclable too. The tissue paper comes from MustBeBonkers and the new raffia ribbon which is Eco-friendly, Biodegradable and 100% Recyclable comes from Tigers on the Loose! This Christmas just gone, I also purchased some beautiful hand-pressed cards from
Alongside the Royal Mail standard delivery offer, when a customer opts for the courier option, I always use Inxpress, my most local courier shipping service.
I source my training from small business industry experts like Faye Cornhill (I am a fully fledged member of the Wedding Business Club and have learnt so much in a year already!), all the professional photography is from either Girl Behind The Lens or Aperture Film, two amazingly talented and local photographer who have supported me from the very beginning.
All this is important because it helps to ensure I am really living my values wherever possible. I don't just want to green-wash you with recyclable boxes... When you purchase a Bitesize Bakehouse product, that money goes straight back into the small business arena and I love that I can be a part of that!
For all the above withstanding, my supply chain isn't perfect and still rely on a supermarket and Amazon for items and see this very much as a journey that I am still on. I am continually looking for new and better options as I grow to improve.
How does it make the products/ your experience better?
Well, right off the bat, I believe that good quality ingredients truly make a better quality product.
I also believe that closing the loop for small business is doing good too. When you buy small (and local where relevant), and then that business also supports it's fellow small businesses, we can create an arena for more sustainable and viable business all around.
It also invariably means that when something goes wrong (which is a given at some point, right?) I can typically pick up the phone and speak with a human to resolve the problem, rather than an automated system! When a package maybe hasn't arrived at the expected time, our local couriers have the drivers numbers to contact them - no pre-written auto response here! If I create a new product and need some custom packaging, I can give the supplier a call to chat through my idea and see what we can create together.
Running a business on your own can get lonely, but when you set it up to create a network of other small business that you can interact and work with, it's like one big family!
I hope you found this deep dive into the suppliers I use and why interesting. I am always on the look out for more too, so if you are a small business, or know one that might fit well with Bitesize Bakehouse, drop me a line! I'd love to find out a little more...