This year’s FreeFrom Food Awards sees four of Cheshire’s best on the shortlist for awards.

Marianne Evans, Mummy Bakes; Laura Krippner, Twice As Nice; Lucy Wagner, Pudology; Ed Salt, Delamere

Marianne Evans, Mummy Bakes; Laura Krippner, Twice As Nice; Lucy Wagner, Pudology; Ed Salt, Delamere Dairy - Credit: Archant

For those who suffer from food intolerances and allergies, or simply want to eat more healthily, the growing number of specialist ‘free from’ food-makers is a wonderful thing.

Twice As Nice Laura Krippner

Twice As Nice Laura Krippner - Credit: Archant

Twice As Nice

Laura Krippner runs her baking business from her home in Sandbach; her Anzac Biscuits and her Earl Grey Shortbread biscuits are shortlisted in the Tea Time! category.

Why gluten free and not just baking?

I’ve lived in London, New York, Sydney and Singapore, so I got used to having a lot of options available to me. I enjoy the challenge that baking for those with either allergies or intolerances provides. For example, people will send me a list of their allergies and ask if I can make them a cake taking their individual allergens into account. To date I’ve been able to meet the challenge!

What’s your best seller?

ANZACs and Brownies (both vegan and non-vegan).

Twice As Nice Anzac Biscuits

Twice As Nice Anzac Biscuits - Credit: Archant

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What’s your product development process?

I use my experience of travelling and living overseas and I listen to my customers! For example, multiple requests for coffee flavoured vegan cakes have resulted in Brownies with Cappuccino frosting, and the Christmas cakes that I made last year were gluten-free, vegan and low sugar. Ultimately my family provides (brutally) honest feedback if I get the thumbs up from my husband and children then I know it’s a good product.

What would winning mean to you?

It would be fantastic to receive national recognition during my first year in business. My former colleagues at Deloitte and PwC think that my move into baking is a bit crazy so it would be nice to show them that actually I’m quite good at it!

What’s next?

I’m keen to move out of my home-based kitchen and supply more shops and cafes. Ultimately I want to establish the gluten-free bakery as a social enterprise with a focus on providing education and work experience to the unemployed using a similar model to Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen.

Marianne Evans of Mummy Bakes

Marianne Evans of Mummy Bakes - Credit: Archant

Mummy Bakes

Marianne Evans, from Knutsford, works from home where she makes, among other things, the delicious Biscotti shortlisted in the FreeFrom Awards Tea Time! category

Why gluten free and not just baking?

At the age of 23 months our youngest daughter was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease. At first it was a relief, we finally knew what was wrong with her and we could start to get her healthy again. It was not a surprise, as my mother is also a diagnosed coeliac, so we thought, phew, we can cope, we know what to do.... however, watching my daughter sob on being told she couldn’t eat the birthday cake at a friend’s party was the catalyst. So I decided to try baking different recipes she can enjoy. I try to show that just because it is GF, it is not ‘missing’ anything, there is a preconceived idea that GF is only for those who have to have it, but that is changing all the time, with more people realising that they feel better reducing or cutting out gluten from their diet.

What’s your best seller?

My Biscotti is very popular, however my best seller is probably my Salted Caramel Brownie, which many people (including those who do not need to eat GF) have rated as the best brownie they have ever tried!

Mummy Bakes: Biscotti

Mummy Bakes: Biscotti - Credit: Archant

What’s your product development process?

I spend hours trawling recipe books and the internet, asking for challenges.. I don’t look just at GF recipes, but at any, and then adapt the ingredients based on the knowledge I have built up over the last few years. I want my products to be as good or better than their gluten equivalent. Baking GF should not be an excuse for poor quality, so if it doesn’t work, I keep trying, and if it is still not up to standard I move on to something new. From a taste test side, I use the monthly Makers Markets in Knutsford to trial new bakes, get feedback on new ideas etc. My partner, Jonathan, is probably my harshest critic, approaching my bakes as someone who can eat gluten, so he constantly gives feedback on taste, structure, appearance etc.

What would winning mean to you?

It would be fantastic to win, to get recognised in such a niche but exciting market place. Being shortlisted with several big players is amazing and the sense of recognition and validation for what I am doing is immense. What started out as a personal journey to make life sweeter for my daughter has taken me to a national level so quickly.

What’s next from Mummy Bakes?

The next stage is to find commercial premises. The GF market is ever growing, and I want to be a part of it. From a product range perspective, there are some very interesting things in the pipeline to launch very soon…

Lucy Wager of Pudology

Lucy Wager of Pudology - Credit: Archant


Lucy Wager launched Pudology in May 2012 and within six months her delicious dairy and gluten fee puddings were to be found on the shelves of Selfridges, Fortnum & Mason and Ocado. A year later her puddings, now made in a dedicated kitchen production site in Knutsford, were also snapped up by Waitrose and Sainsbury’s. Her Chocolate Orange Pud is up for an award in the ‘Manufactured in a nut-free environment’ and her Natural Coconut Yoghurt is shortlisted in the ‘Milk’ & Yoghurts category.

Why gluten free and not just baking?

I used to be a product developer for big retailers in the food industry and was lucky enough to travel all over the world. Unfortunately I became quite ill following appendicitis and a work trip to India and it left me with various intolerances, including dairy. It was a big shock to the system and a real challenge being on such a restrictive diet. I started making myself yummy treats and realised there was a real gap in the market for delicious desserts that just happen to be free from dairy and gluten (and eggs and nuts!)

What’s your best seller?

Banoffee is our best seller, but that’s quickly being caught up by Chocolate Orange at the moment!

Pudology Chocolate Orange pudding

Pudology Chocolate Orange pudding - Credit: Archant

What’s your product development process?

I’m constantly coming up with new ideas in my head, then I get into the kitchen and start playing around with ingredients, once I have something I’m happy with I start testing it on anyone and everyone I can get my hands on, including my three very willing nephews. I also now have some loyal customers who are always happy to help me with the development process.

What would winning mean to you?

It’s tough being a small brand in this big world, it would be such an honour to win an award this year as it helps let people know about our products and that they taste really good!

What’s next from Pudology?

We’ve just launched our Natural Coconut Yoghurt, which is up for a FFFA. We’d love to get more flavours out there and have them all lined up raring to go.

Ed Salt, MD Delamere Dairy

Ed Salt, MD Delamere Dairy - Credit: Archant

Delamere Dairy

Delamere Dairy is based in Knutsford, but sources its goats’ milk from across the UK and places the milk with specialist cheese, butter and yogurt makers who make products to Delamere’s recipes. Their new goats’ milk butter is a finalist in the ‘Milks’ & Yoghurts category.

What would winning mean to you?

The kudos and PR from winning awards is invaluable for a business like Delamere Dairy. The FreeFrom Food Awards is particularly important to us as it elevates our products among an audience actively looking for ‘free from’ alternative foods, a category in which goats’ milk products sit.

What’s next from Delamere Dairy?

Export is currently an interesting area for us. Global demand for goats’ milk products is growing at quite a rate, particularly in the Far East.

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