Welcome to the latest TOB Producer Case Study! In this series you can get to know members of our TOB family of producers a little better, and find out how working with us has made a difference. Don’t forget, every order you place helps the 35 independent producers that supply us – thank you for supporting small business!
Meet the Producer
In 2008 Paul Stewart was made redundant from his sales job, and together with his wife Jackie Allan, decided to set up a new business. Jackie already had her own shop and was part of the town of Bradford on Avon Chamber of Commerce, but had noticed that the local Tourist Office didn’t sell anything made in the town – so Jackie came up with the idea to create fabulous local fudge! It was made to a favourite family recipe, and it was an instant hit. Only a few weeks later, Jackie and Paul got an email from the nearby Whiterow Farm Shop asking if they could start selling the fudge – and the rest, as they say, was history! Meg’s Cottage Fudge was named after the 18th century weaver’s cottage where Paul & Jackie lived, and where the fudge is still made in a professional kitchen housed in a wooden cabin in the garden. Paul and Jackie parted company in 2018 and Jackie has taken on running the business by herself with her staff.
Welcome to the family
Meg’s Cottage Fudge is another one of our original bakers’ dozen, the 13 producers who were with Taste of Bath when we launched way back in 2015! The very first taste of their traditional vanilla fudge transported MD Helen Rich back to childhood and the sweet treats her granny used to make. Helen and Jackie met in the local pub for a good old chat and got on like a house on fire, and it was the start of a brilliant partnership.
Over the last 8 years, Taste of Bath and Meg’s Cottage really have grown together as businesses. Their fudge has been an absolute staple for us since day one, and consistently tops our bestselling products list! At TOB HQ, it’s important to us to offer a really well-balanced, varied selection, so we love the fudge as a non-chocolate option for a sweet treat, and our customers definitely agree, especially our business clients. It’s really no surprise once you’ve had a taste – this fudge is crumbly, delicious and simply melts in the mouth.
No ordinary supplier relationship
When Helen first came up with the idea for Taste of Bath, one of her main goals was to give small food businesses regular orders to rely on, as well as a platform to showcase them to a wider audience. Having run her own successful small food business for several years, producing artisan pate, Helen knew just how challenging it can be to make it work in this industry, even if you’ve got a fantastic product. As Taste of Bath grows, so does our ability to provide all our producers with that crucial reliable income.
Jackie Allan, Meg’s Cottage founder, says “TOB is part of our foundations. It really is our bread and butter, especially the orders in the run-up to Christmas, which are not only welcome financially but keep us busy. We love that our fudge goes out to so many people via Taste of Bath and we’re proud to feature in the hampers!”
The sky’s the limit
As well as a whole range of fabulous flavours that they sell online, in shops and at markets and festivals, Meg’s Cottage is now supplying a growing market for wedding favours (invite us to those weddings, please!) and welcome gifts for hotel guests, with some big exciting partnerships in the pipeline. There’s also talk of an apple cider fudge in collaboration with Lilley’s Cider – truly an idea that brings the very best of the Westcountry together!