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This was where we were expecting things to start for us, but unfortunately we had a set-back. Burty (well, Carol) unfortunately slipped over in mud whilst walking the dogs at the beginning of March, quite comprehensively breaking her left wrist! The break was bad enough to require surgery followed by weeks in plaster and then slightly less cumbersome supports. It's not until you suffer an injury like this that you come to realise how important and complicated a joint like your wrist is, and this has seroiusly hampered Carol's baking abilities. Always one to push herself, Carol has been busy exercising, but it will be a while before she is back to full strength and able to produce enough products for a market. Not that Burty has been completely quiet as a new product has been tried & tested - fudge confetti for a family & friends wedding, which has proved to be very popular.
After a hectic December with fairs & Christmas orders, followed by Burty's Bakery reverting back to our home kitchen for Christmas cooking, a well earned rest was planned. January started by being away from home for the New Year as we started to prepare ourselves for the 2018 season which we expect to start around Easter time.
So, we now get to December, usually our busiest month of the year. Our first event was very local, Broughton Astley Christmas lights switch on. A great event in the centre of the village, with many varied stalls, Christmas Carols, a funfair Father Christmas and real reindeer! Then we were off to the village of Swinford for the village school Christmas fair, this is always very enjoyable. We did have two events cancel due to unforeseen circumstances which was unfortunate, but at least it gave us a bit more breathing space and time to get our Christmas orders completed. Our final event was on 19th December for a employees market at the British Gas offices, then all orders were completed and the kitchen closed by Thursday 21st so Burty could then concentrate on the family Christmas cooking!
Thank you to everyone who supported us during 2017, and we look forward to seeing you all again next year.
Fully rested after our break we were ready for what November could throw at us! Our first event was in The Wycliffe Rooms in Burty's home town of Lutterworth. The second was supposed to be a full weekend Cristmas Market at Hatton Country World but Burty was ill, so Alastair attended just the Sunday on his own. Then was the first school Christmas market at Clifton upon Dunsmore before we returned to our favourite venue of Abington Park Museum for their Christmas Fair. We had a lovely day as usual seeing a number of familiar faces. Fortunately the weather stayed dry but cold, as we were outside in the courtyard under our gazebo.(All the more important as Burty herself was back!) With this being the Christmas season our goodies have taken a festive theme including our ever popular mince pies (of various varieties), jam tarts (once known as our (I don't like mince) pies) and even individual Christmas cakes either to be given as a gift, or for families where only one member likes Christmas cake. (We also sold a number of these to a wine distributor to put into Christmas Hampers).
We decided that a rest was in order now so we only attended one event in October. This was not just any venue though, but one of our favourites; Abington Park Museum in Northampton for a two day food fair. we had the same position as last time, inside the lovely Victorian Room, and were very pleased to see a number of returning familiar faces from our previous visits. After this two day event we closed down and went away on holiday as next month will see the start of Christmas Fayres which for us is our busiest time as it is the Mince Pie Season, and we have to make sure that we are ready for that!
An event in the middle of Quorn was our first event this month. It was a lovely setting and nice weather with a nice mixture of stalls. Then we returned to Lubbenham for their Scarecrow festival, the event field was smaller than last year but a lovely atmosphere. Burty's range of fudge went well here! For our final September event we ventured out to Clifton Upon Dunsmore for their Summer Fete. This had a great atmosphere and old fashioned feel to it.
August started with a Visit to the Glen Parva Parish Council Sumer Gala which was held just after a torrential downpour, but there was still a good turn out and we had an enjoyable afternoon. The following weekend we attended the Market Harborough Summer Fayre which was frankly another disappointment, but we live and learn! For Bank Holiday Sunday we attended Party in the Park in Broughton Astley which was a great afternoon out for everyone, with live music and superb sunshine.
July was again a busy month, both with events and new products. Burty has increased her range of superb tasty fudges and traditional cakes. Our first event of the month was a return to Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre. A lovely day with customers who remembered us from before and some new ones. The following weekend was a much needed one off with time to re-charge our batteries as we then headed back to the summer Food Fair at Abington Park Museum in Northampton. This time we were inside the museum in the beautifully restored Victorian room. The Saturday after that we were enticed to a Gifts & Grub market in Melton Mowbray which sadly proved to be nothing special, but at least we'll know better for next time!
June was much busier as we attended four events, starting with a fairly local one in aid of Lutterworth Museum, held in The Wycliffe Rooms. The following Saturday we were at a Craft Fair held in the Tithe Barn right in the centre of Wellingborough. This was another lovely setting and the event also coincided with a Medieval Festival which was held in the Town. A lot of people, and a very hot weekend. Towards the end of the month we had our first visit to the Broughton Astley Carnival which is obviously very local. A great event all organised by very enthusiastic volunteers. The following day (so a busy weekend!) we were at The Monks Kirby Summer Fayre. This was set in the grounds of a local stately home with a huge variety of stalls and entertainments, including (amongst other things) chicken racing and live musical entertainment. A really enjoyable day out.
May started with our first return visit to the Cotesbach Markets in the Yard on the 6th which was unfortunately a bit quiet. The end of the month we attended a Vintage and Craft Fair at Abington Park Museum in the centre of Northampton. This was a lovely event in a fantastic setting. We were based outside in the courtyard alongside a PIMMS bar with appropriate quality music being played all day. We will certainly be coming back here again during 2017! On Whit Monday we should have attended Arnesby May Fair, but the weather was miserable and we couldn't see the point in sitting under a wet Gazebo in the rain for the day not talking to customers, so we didn't go.
Now time for it all to start again with a plan to venture further afield this year. At the start of April we attended a 2 day Food Fayre at Hatton Country World near to Warwick. This was a nice event held inside their function marquee, with a nice variety of traders. It also gave us the opportunity to try a few new products such as loaf cakes. Following the reception we received there at Christmas, we returned to Bosworth Battlefield again for their Spring Craft Fair to have a number of people tell us they remembered us from last time and that it was nice to see us again!
Kept quiet on purpose to allow Burty's batteries time to re-charge. What with the Christmas Markets, and then a family Christmas a good rest was well earned and essential. A couple of celebration cakes were made for friends, plus we had our annual 'Works Outing' to the Packaging Innovations Show in Birmingham looking for more innovative packaging ideas.
The final run-up to Christmas starting with a lovely evening at Swinford Primary School for their Christmas Fair. Then, a new venue for us, the Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre Christmas Fair, another lovely evening. Next up was our first (of two) Markets at Cotesbach followed by an open day at the Nurture Me Nursery in Lutterworth. The 10th December was the Christmas lights switch on in Broughton Astley but unfortunately torrential rain somewhat dampened things there! Our final event of the year was the Christmas Market in the Yard at Cotesbach on the 17th. A magical atmosphere here as they also held a Childrens Nativity Play in the barn opposite the market. Burty's (home) kitchen then officially closed down on the 22nd in order to be able to prepare the family food for our Christmas holidays!
As predicted, a busier month for us. The first event we was Cotesbach Market in the Yard on the 5th, then the 19th saw us at Old Mill Primary School in Broughton Astley. Our displayed wares are starting to take on a distinctly Festive look to them, as did our tablecloth!
A quiet month for us intentionally as we knew that the Christmas Fayres would be starting in November. The only event we attended was Cotesbach Market in the Yard.
As usual the first Saturday of the month saw us at Cotesbach for their Craft fair and the following weekend was the Lubbenham Scarecrow Festival. The village of Lubbenham really get into the spirit of this event plus there are a large number of traders from all over the country attending selling a variety of things. Unfortunately the weather was so wet on the Saturday that we didn't see the point of sitting in a damp field with no customers, so we left the car loaded and just went on Sunday. This was certainly a great event and we plan to return again next year when hopefully the weather will be better.
In August we again returned to Cotesbach on the first Saturday of the month for their regular Craft Fair. This is a great (if quiet) event and we are slowly getting to know the other stall holders too which is nice. To add to the atmosphere there was also a lovely lady playing the piano accordion who kept us happy by playing 'Food Glorious Food' from her 'Oliver' collection!
In July we decided to attend a different event, the Aces Nationals Football Tournament. This is a national boys & girls football tournament where all the league winners from different areas compete against each other in the same age category. We took loads of healthy & energy giving flapjack and some of our new cookies range (Burty's Big'uns), and found out vthat the kids loved the cookies, and adults (especially referees) loved the flapjack!
All being well we will return again next year.
Early in June we took a stall space at the Cotesbach Market near to Lutterworth which was held in a stable yard beneath a large event gazebo. The weather was fine and the atmosphere was lovely, we plan to return there for their craft market the first Saturday in August. Please come along and see us there.
Click here for a picture of our table.
Further developments including our first event where we had a stall at Greystokes School May Fair in Narborough. A great day out where we met lots of new customers (and would have been even better with more sunshine! Click here to see a picture of our stall.
Things are really beginning to take off now, we're starting to formulate our range of products (doesn't that sound posh!). We also have a new stockist for our wares, the Gilmorton Village Store. If you click on their name it will take you to their website.
More product development this month in particular flapjacks to go into the great recyclable paper baking trays we found at the Packaging Innovations show last month. If you're interested in this take a look at our flapjack products page.
This has been a quieter month (on the outside) but a very busy one on the inside! Another Birthday Cake (Derek the Dinosaur) was made & delivered, plus we paid a very interesting visit to the Packaging Innovations trade show at Birmingham NEC. New product for this month is our 'Favourite Things' range which will be appearing on the 'Boxed Biscuits' page once they're finished.
So, the start of a New Year and new products to develop! Keep an eye on this website to see our new range of Flapjacks which should be available shortly.
Plus, due to the huge number of requests before Christmas, we are looking at creating a range of Mince (and I don't like Mince) Pies using Gluten Free Flour!
This is when it all began, registering the business with Harborough District Council, finding suppliers and developing a product range. Due to the time of year, most of these products had a Christmas theme.