Introducing: Tarte & Berry

It's becoming more and more obvious that Yorkshire is carving a name as a foodie destination and as a hub for many unique food businesses! Though I am not a native of the region, I am hugely passionate about my adopted home. 

Through my Introducing series, I want to help showcase some of the amazing producers that the North East has to offer and hopefully spread the Yorkshire food message further afield.

I am delighted to start this off by introducing a wonderful business from my home city of York, Tarte & Berry!

Founded by two sisters, Jane and Lucy, Tarte & Berry offers indulgent baked treats, using only quality ingredients such as free range eggs, British butter and sugar, with no additives in sight.

Their range includes Salted Caramel Brownies, decadent Raspberry and Almond Bakewell Bars and Dark Chocolate and Butterscotch Caramel Flapjacks, all of which are handmade!

Tarte & Berry Interview Audacity of Food
Tarte & Berry Interview Audacity of Food

Jane (L) and Lucy (R)

I was actually lucky enough to meet with the sisters and wasted no time in asking Jane and Lucy to tell me a bit more about the story behind Tarte & Berry.

Jane - 

I actually originally completed a degree in business management, but also had a real interest in baking and wanted to run my own business.

I was working in sales and marketing in Leeds, when I saw advertised online a Cordon Bleu cookery course at the Tante Marie Culinary Academy in Surrey.

I actually left my job to go down to Surrey and absolutely loved the course, after that I went to London and worked as a pastry chef, as I just loved the pastry and baking side of things.

I did however become quite homesick whilst in London and started thinking about coming back up north.

Lucy - 

During this time I was based in Leeds working in marketing and PR, but also knew there was something else I wanted to be doing

Jane -

On the back of these factors, we decided see if we could start a business ourselves, so last summer we set up Tarte and Berry, starting with festivals and shows and see what the response would be.

We actually started out with lots of different cakes, but quickly found that brownies and tray bakes were the most popular!

We then down the route of having an online shop, which has only been going a few weeks, the response has been great! We've got big plans and lots of shows booked for the next year, which is really exciting.

We also have a six week slot at Trinity Kitchen in Leeds, as part of their pop up food area, starting in June. So there’s a lot to plan for with that!

Alongside success online and at shows, Tarte and Berry have also been recognised by other organisations. In November 2014 they received a 

BBC Good Food Producers Bursary Award 

and in January 2015 they won a

Small Business Sunday Award. 

I wanted to ask what the the impact has been of winning such prestigious awards so early on in their business journey.

Jane

  - Winning these awards has massively helped with our exposure and social media following, which is so important now for any new business. It also helps grow customer confidence in us too, as we have been externally recognised for our products!

As part of the BBC good Food award, we were able to exhibit at their winter show at the NEC in Birmingham, which is a huge venue!

We didn't even know how much to bake, we actually ended up taking over 2000 items of produce for the four day event, which was the biggest show we have ever done.

I also wanted to know how both Jane and Lucy's previous commercial experience had helped with developing and growing their business.

Lucy -

 It really does make a huge difference, as you just know the way things work, how to pitch to retailers and what they are looking for.

Jane

- Also being professionally trained as a chef really is important, as alongside producing the best quality products, it is also a real point of difference and makes a great talking point with customers.

Tarte & Berry Interview Audacity of Food
Tarte & Berry Interview Audacity of Food

Jane and Lucy very kindly provided me with a couple samples of their Salted Caramel Brownie and Raspberry and Almond Bakewell Bars to try for myself.

The brownies were extremely moreish and rich, with the perfect balance of sweet and salty. The texture was also great, as they had a slight crunch to the top, but importantly inside there was an abundance of fudgey, gooey brownie goodness.

I surprised myself, because whilst I am a HUGE brownie fan, I actually thought the Bakewell Tarts were even better (this is kind of a big deal, because I always choose brownies over and above everything else.) They were just wonderful, with a crisp buttery base and a lovely tang from the raspberries.

After interviewing Jane and Lucy, I stumbled across their stall a few weeks later in Wakefield, which gave me another chance to get my hands on a Bakewell! 

Want to try for yourself?

You can shop Tarte & Berry online here.

Find Tarte & Berry at these events:

Bishop Auckland Food Festival, Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th April

Harrogate Spring Flower Show, Harrogate Showground, Thursday 23rd to Sunday 26th April

Malton Food Lovers Festival, Malton Town Centre, Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th May

Leeds Loves Food Festival, Friday 5th to Sunday 7th June

Leeds Trinity Kitchen Sunday 14th June to Sunday 26th July

Tarte & Berry Interview Audacity of Food
Tarte & Berry Interview Audacity of Food

A tray of fresh salted caramel brownies - the smell was AMAZING!!

Tarte & Berry Interview Audacity of Food
Tarte & Berry Interview Audacity of Food

The packaging neatly fits through letterboxes, which is a great touch!

Tarte & Berry Interview Audacity of Food
Tarte & Berry Interview Audacity of Food

Raspberry and Almond Bakewell Bars

Tarte & Berry Interview Audacity of Food
Tarte & Berry Interview Audacity of Food

I  managed to see the ladies in action on a Tarte & Berry stall at the Wakefield Rhubarb festival!

Tarte & Berry Interview Audacity of Food
Tarte & Berry Interview Audacity of Food

And of course could not come away empty handed....

Audacity of Food

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