Wrenbury couple launch tea infused jams (with audio)

It was all about balance for Lynne and Tom Morrison. Now, their unusual but tasty treats are selling like hot cakes. Emma Mayoh reports PHOTOGRAPHY BY KIRSTY THOMPSON

Tom and Lynne Morrison’s neighbours are often disappointed. There was a time when the Wrenbury couple might come home from a farmers’ market laden with goodies for them. But now the pair, who set up Berry Fresh Bakery in June last year, come home empty handed.

The cakes, curds, jams and chutneys they make at their Cheshire home are snapped up within hours.

‘We only ever sell fresh products,’ said Lynne, a former catering student. ‘We don’t and won’t pre-make things and freeze them so if we have any left over we give them to the neighbours or we barter with the other stall holders. But we don’t tend to have that many left over anymore.’

The couple, who also run a training and development company, set up the bakery to help bring balance to their hectic working lives and as a way to diversify. Lynne, whose passion for cooking was sparked by her grandmother and mother as a child, takes care of the cakes, bakes and pastries while husband Tom makes their range of unusual jams and chutneys.

Flavours range from the traditional blackcurrant, raspberry and rhubarb to more exotic jams infused with teas. The 50-year-old has created an apple and green tea jam, one using plum and Earl Grey tea and a strawberry jam with balsamic vinegar, black pepper and Rooibos tea.

And Tom, who sought advice on the best blends from Phil Kirby at Liverpool tea room Brew, also makes scones flavoured with sage and spring onion, walnut as well as more conventional sultana and cherry varieties.

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The former property relocation adviser, who met Lynne when they were both living in London, had never made jams before; in fact he didn’t even like them. But now he spends hours in the kitchen experimenting with different flavours.

‘I’ve never been a big jam fan,’ Tom said. ‘I find them a bit too sweet. I thought by introducing different flavours and, in particular with the tea, it would help take away the sweetness. For me it was about looking at recipes which would reduce the amount of sugar in the jams.

‘It’s a really long, slow process. It can take me three or four days to make one batch of eight jars of jam. But we’re not here to mass produce things. For me it’s all about taking my time and creating something I’m really proud of.’

The couple, who moved to Cheshire two years ago and who also prepare dinner parties at people’s homes, were inspired to launch the bakery by their love of traditional afternoon tea and their passion for fresh, local produce. Eggs come from a farm just a few miles away and the fruit is grown at Willington Fruit Farm, near Kelsall.

Lynne said: ‘We want to talk to more local producers to broaden the range we have. We love the fresh fruit we get and we want to make sure we do the best with it. We get a lot of pleasure out of what we do and we like to put smiles on people’s faces. Hopefully we can do more of that.’ 

Berry fresh Bakery products are available at some farmers’ markets and in Ginger and Pickle in Nantwich, and the village store and Complete Health Store in Wrenbury. Go to www.berryfreshbakery.co.uk for more information.

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