With a background of banking, and no catering or food experience other than a love of cooking, Lynne researched how this could be possible, and a visit to a farm shop on the outskirts of Penrith, Cumbria resulted in her very first customer in November 2000. By Christmas of that year, two other local retailers had approached Lynne to supply them too. Farmer’s Markets were the next logical step for the farmer’s wife as well as an increased product range, and the business was just in its early stages when Foot & Mouth Disease enveloped the countryside and brought it’s many challenges as well as heartache. Thinking it might all be over before it really began, it was at this point that Made In Cumbria gave Lynne some invaluable advice, and told her to fill her car boot with samples and prices, and go on a tour of the Lake District, taking care to disinfect her feet and car en route. Every shop she called at were interested in her wares, and follow up phone calls the following week all resulted in orders. Things were looking up, even if she did have to meet some of her customers in laybys and on motorway bridges to reduce the risk of spreading the invisible infection!
After Foot and Mouth was over, David and Lynne had the opportunity to take on the family dairy farm at Dacre near Ullswater, and seeing the potential of the pudding business, Lynne had plans to convert a barn on the farm into a pudding kitchen, whilst David was growing the farming enterprises. Both realised their dreams, and it was at this point that Lynne took on her first member of staff to help out part time.
Five years on and with the help of more staff, the pudding kitchen proved to be too small, and so the decision was made to move the business onto a rural business park two miles away. The range has continued to grow to currently 18 varieties, and the ethos of producing high quality puddings and sauces using the finest ingredients, to always produce the highest quality products, and to develop recipes that customer’s want will always be their pledge.
Now in their 17 th year, Country Puddings would not be the success it is without the dedicated team behind it. Although only a small team, their training and development is extremely important to ensure that all aspects of the Country Puddings brand is the best it can be. The results of their hard work and dedication can be found in sixteen Great Taste Awards, the industry’s recognised benchmark of quality, and to see their range of puddings and custards on a shop shelf is very satisfying indeed. And even better when you see a customer pick up a pudding and place it in their basket!