Our Suppliers & Ingredients
There may be a place for cheap stuff, but it certainly isn't in our cakes.
We don't compromise on our ingredients. In fact, we spend a lot of our time on getting them just right. We talk to suppliers; visit farms; carry out research into the brands and their processes; generally do everything we can to make sure that our ingredients are sourced in a thoughtful way.
You see, often supermarkets and high street coffee shops will compromise on the quality and sourcing of the ingredients in their baked goods in order to save costs. They keep it quiet and, a lot of the time, they get away with it - it still tastes like cake (ish!).
But we're foodies, as are our customers. And if you love food - if you're used to seeing, smelling, tasting and handling high-quality ingredients - you can totally tell the difference.
So we don't mess around with ours. Read all about our wonderful suppliers and ingredients below.
Chocolate - our hero ingredient.
All of our chocolate is Barry Callebaut - a Belgian brand that takes pride in supporting and elevating the cocoa farmers, as well as a series of other commitments linked to sustainability. They also make seriously delicious chocolate!
Barry Callebaut’s plan is to make sustainable chocolate the norm.
By 2025, Barry Callebaut commits to:
- Lift more than 500 000 cocoa farmers out of poverty
- Eradicate Child Labour from its supply chain
- Be carbon and forest positive
- Have 100% Sustainable Ingredients in all products
To read more about Callebaut and their stance on sustainability, visit the 'Sustainability' page on their website.
Dark chocolate - Callebaut recipe 70-30-38
Minimum % cocoa solids: 70.5%
To achieve a perfectly balanced and round taste, this dark chocolate uses a blend cocoa beans from 3 different countries of origin: Ivory Coast, Ghana and Ecuador.
Milk chocolate - Callebaut recipe 823
Minimum % cocoa solids: 33.6%
The 823 milk chocolate stands out with its warm, deep colour and well-balanced taste that is easy to pair with other flavours. Roasted cocoa is in perfect harmony with the milk and caramelly notes.
White chocolate - Callebaut recipe W2
Recipe N° W2 is one of Octaaf Callebaut's original recipes. This chocolate is as Belgian as can be - it's predominately made with milk from cows grazing on Belgian pastures and sugar from locally grown sugar beets. It has a delightful taste with pronounced milky, creamy, caramelly and vanilla notes that are in perfect balance.
Our plain flour is supplied by Doves Farm, an organic arable farm in the North Wessex Downs. Doves Farm was founded by Clare and Michael Marriage in 1977, born from a passion for organic farming and a desire to bring sustainable grain production into the UK flour industry. They strive to revitalise the ancient roots of food production, free of artificial pesticides, genetically modified ingredients, and artificial fertilisers, by working with the natural ecosystem. This means that you can choose what you’re putting in your body, and choose to support the revitalisation of our local environment rather than causing further pollution.
For this reason, Doves Farm uses controlled systems of slow crop rotations which naturally fertilise soil and control pests. Their grains are surrounded by grass margins which provide home for predatory wildlife, managing pests in a natural and sustainable way. They are also proud to be part of the Countryside Stewardship Scheme, which works to conserve and restore wildlife habitats. Rather than working against the environment, Doves Farm believes in nurturing the natural landscape so that the elements work to nurture our food in return.
To learn more about Doves Farm's stances on sustainability, try visiting their "Why Organic?" page.
Our sugars are provided by Tate & Lyle. They are committed to Fairtrade, supporting thousands of small-scale cane sugar farmers in the global South to encourage environmentally sustainable agricultural production. They are also increasingly working to support sustainable farming and reduce the emission of Greenhouse gasses in the agricultural processes, through a range of global programmes which help corn and stevia farmers measure and reduce their environmental impact.
For a better understanding of Tate & Lyle's mission in promoting health, community, and sustainability, visit the "Our Purpose" page on their website, or click here to learn about their commitment to Fairtrade.
We use Clarence Court Burford Brown free range eggs. Clarence Court eggs get their distinctive golden yolks from well-fed hens that are free to roam the English countryside, who enjoy a carefully formulated diet.
They value the health of their birds above all else, and that’s why they are proud supporters of the Slow Food movement, allowing their hens to provide eggs at a natural pace, ensuring they lead happy and sustainable lives.
Our butter is supplied by President, a French producer founded in 1933. This rich and creamy butter has no added colourants or other ingredients- its taste comes entirely from grass-fed cows that are raised outdoors.
Our vanilla paste is produced by Nielsen Massey, who always aim to deliver the most delicious flavours nature can provide. They are a family business committed to sustainability programmes which support the plants and communities that bring their products to life.
Their Madagascan vanilla was one of the first to be organic and Fairtrade, and they have taken on a leadership role in encouraging the vanilla industry to strive for sustainable pre-production by supporting the farmers who make it all possible.
To learn more, visit Nielsen Massey's page on Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility.
Cost-saving ingredient swaps we will never make in our cakes:
Vegetable oil / margarine (instead of butter) - both are made out of chemically modified vegetable fat, are far cheaper and often last longer than butter. BUT they have next to no flavour, are made using a chemical process, and lack the richness of natural, high quality dairy butter. In a brownie, they'll give a chewy, box brownie-like texture, not the velvety fudginess of a brownie made with real butter.
Cocoa powder or cheap, waxy chocolate chips (instead of real chocolate) - if the chocolate flavour is found in a sponge or 'mix' (and not as chunks), you can bet there's no actual chocolate in there. Cocoa powder is cheaper and lasts longer. BUT you'll never get the velvety richness of proper chocolate. Where chunks are needed, often they'll be cheap, waxy stuff that you wouldn't want to eat on its own (think the type of chocolate you'd get in cheap, unbranded Easter eggs!).
Eggs from caged hens (instead of high-welfare, organic, free range eggs) - if 'free range' isn't mentioned anywhere on the packaging, you'll probably find a horror story of animal cruelty and poor hygiene should you choose to do a little digging. This one we have a real issue with.
Chemically-made flavourings instead of natural ingredients - look out for the ambiguous term 'flavourings', or 'E' numbers - these are normally made in a lab. 'Vanilla flavouring' has never seen a vanilla pod!
An endless list of preservatives.