It’s a story of entrepreneurship, sisterhood, a love of home and… je ne sais quoi.
From French cooking lessons to a York kitchen, the blonde bombshells behind the beautifully-branded artisan bakery Tarte & Berry could have fled to London or wherever the cool kids are, but instead they are keeping it real and keeping it home.
Perhaps they’re sensing what is becoming apparent to all of us: the foodie cool kids are, in fact, in Yorkshire.
What is so impressive about Jane and Lucy’s leap into opening their own online business is its rapid rise to success, and one that is growing by the day. The sisters, still at the tender ages of 31 and 25, launched their business in September 2014 – a mere nine months ago – and they have already won awards, wholesale contracts, have orders pouring in and are in-demand to grace food show stalls.
Inspiring? Yes. Mouthwatering? Just wait until I tell you what they create…
Salted Caramel Millionaires – their own take on the traditional shortbread treat – are current bestsellers in the collection, with customers devouring them at food festivals, via online orders or at the delis and coffee shops in York, Harrogate and Leeds where the sisters’ creations are on sale. Then there are delicious gooey brownies in all glorious forms (chocolate orange, triple chocolate, pecan and vanilla and even gluten-free). There’s raspberry and almond Bakewells… you get the picture. Unadulterated pleasure.
The women behind the cakes
Jane and Lucy Batham grew up in Richmond, North Yorkshire and have always been close, dreaming of what was to become a reality when they grew up.
Starting out respective careers in PR and marketing, Jane took herself off down the path of working with food, something she loved. After training at Gordon Ramsay’s cookery school in Surrey, becoming a Cordon Bleu chef and some stints in London restaurants, she found her calling: “It was an intensive course and it taught me how to cook properly and how to be a chef. I loved the baking side of it so I moved to London and became a pastry chef down there.
“At the time Lucy was in PR and marketing up here. We have always been really close and always had this idea growing up that we would work together and combine our skills, so I moved back up to Yorkshire and did some work experience at Betty’s, but always wanted to do my own thing. The time was finally right last September so we just went for it.”
And do the strains of working with your sibling show? Only if Lucy, a self-proclaimed chocoholic, eats too much of the produce.
Within those nine months the women have gone from the brave and dynamic jump into running their own business to winning numerous awards – including the BBC Good Food Show Bursary Award last November and the small business award from Dragons’ Den’s Theo Paphitis and Jacqueline Gold’s Women in Business award in January.
They’ve also turned Jane’s home kitchen into a wonderful chaos, a ‘complete madness’ of baking and packaging, and Lucy describes their new world as “a juggling act. Every day is different. It has gone really fast and has taken off in a way we didn’t expect. But we love everything about Tarte & Berry and we’re really enjoying it.”
While the sisters work hard planning, organising and baking, as well as using their skills of marketing and social media to grow their enterprise further, they’re also leaving room for more dreams too: “We’re going to continue doing food shows this year and will have a pop-up in Trinity Leeds for six weeks in June. We’re also thinking of opening a small bakery, so that’s the future for Tarte and Berry,” said Lucy.
Jane adds: “There’s only so long we can go on making everything at home. It will get to the stage where we’ll have to move, so that’s the aim. Were not sure where yet, but it will definitely be somewhere in Yorkshire!”
That’s good to hear ladies. If you’re interested in seeing Jane and Lucy and trying out their artisan tray-baked cakes, they will be attending the Malton Food Lovers Festival at the end of May and you can visit their website page here to see where else to catch them.
Order treats online at www.tarteandberry.com
Find them on Twitter and Instagram: @tarteandberry
Oh, and one last thing…
Jane & Lucy’s favourite Yorkshire restaurant
“We both loved Pipe & Glass in Beverley. The food is always amazing and they are really creative with desserts, which are great to get inspiration from!”