An artisan bakery, set up by mum Melissa O’Dwyer just three years ago, is now supplying John Lewis stores across the UK with a range of handmade Halloween biscuits.
Melissa and her team of four have spent the last few months hand rolling, cutting and icing 22,000 biscuits to fulfil the order, their biggest to date. And as Halloween approaches, the tasty biscuits with witch, skeleton, pumpkin and cat icing designs can now be bought in store and online.
Melissa said: “I am immensely proud to have Little Bee Bakery products stocked at John Lewis, it’s like a dream come true. As a small local business, getting a contract with a big national company is huge, particularly such a prestigious one.”
Ruari Kehoe, head of branch, John Lewis Southampton, said: “At John Lewis we are committed to supporting local British manufacturers, through our ‘Made in the UK’ initiative. This partnership with Romsey bakery, Little Bee is a great example of how John Lewis is committed to supporting local suppliers and helping them flourish. It’s a real privilege for us to stock Little Bee’s delicious biscuits, not only here in John Lewis Southampton, but in John Lewis department stores throughout the UK.”
Based at the Abbey Park Industrial Estate on the outskirts of Romsey, Little Bee Bakery makes bespoke handmade products including cakes, biscuits and whoopie pies using natural ingredients from local producers, with a large and growing range of gluten, dairy free and vegan products. Local ‘mumpreneur’ and avid cook Melissa started baking as a hobby in her kitchen six years ago. She made the job switch from sales to baking full time in 2013 and moved the business into its commercial premises in early 2014.
From the beginning, Melissa’s ethos has been to bake using high quality ingredients sourced locally where possible, from suppliers such as Strawberry Fields Foods (Sopley, New Forest), Leckford Estate Flour (nr Stockbridge), Mozzo Coffee (Southampton), Clayton Eggs (Romsey) and Long Barn Nurseries (Alresford).
Little Bee Bakery’s product range includes celebration and family cakes, 11 varieties of whoopee pies, iced biscuits, cheesecakes and afternoon tea cakes and scones. Products can be delivered by Little Bee Bakery in Hampshire and some items can be posted to the rest of the UK (charges apply). Little Bee Bakery supplies many corporate clients in London and Hampshire, cafes and tea rooms in Southampton, Winchester and the New Forest, local farm shops and delis as well as a growing army of local private customers.
Further information on Little Bee Bakery can be found on Facebook at Littlebbakery or on the soon to be launched website www.littlebeebakery.co.uk. Telephone orders can be taken on 01794 329263. Little Bee Bakery also regularly attends local farmers’ markets and producers’ fairs. In Greek, Melissa is the word for bee.