The bara brith, which is a Welsh tea bread served cut thinly spread with butter, is made by Clam’s Handmade Cakes, based in Crickhowell and supplied to stores, shops, independent cafes and restaurants.
Wrapped in a specially designed greaseproof wrapping with a black ribbon, the cake is outselling rivals at outlets including Stan’s Superstore in St Martin’s Oswestry. It is available direct from Clam’s Hand Made Cakes and also through wholesalers and food distribution companies M. D. Foods of Newtown, Upton Farm Foods in Pemnbrokeshire and Holdsworth, which has a base in Crickhowell.
Celebrity chefs Dave Myers and Si King praised the bara brith on their BBC television series ”The Hairy Bikers’ Food Tour of Britain’ after sampling it with Welsh Brew Tea at ‘For the Love of Cake’ coffee shop in Abergavenny.
The loaf cake is made to a traditional recipe that has been handed down through generations of Lewis Phillips’ family. One of the key ingredients is Welsh Brew Tea.
Lewis, who heads the sales team at Clam’s Handmade Cake says
“We are delighted with all the positive comments that we are receiving, orders have far exceeded our expectations as our bara brith is outselling rivals in many retail outlets.
Customers are commenting that it’s how bara brith used to be. We’re excited by the response because it’s the first of a range of three mini loaf cakes that we will be producing for the national retail market this year.”
As an extra service to trade customers, Clam’s Handmade Cakes is supplying an innovative cake cutting board with the bara brith loaf to provide a guide to cutting different size slabs and wedges without waste.
Welsh celebrity chef Stephen Terry is another fan of Clam’s Handmade Cakes, having recommended For the Love of Cake and the company’s cakes in a recent issue of Olive magazine.
The family business, which employs 20 staff, has seen sales double in each of the last four years. Founder Jane Phillips retains a keen interest in the business, as she is responsible for developing new products.
The company supplies food service companies, coffee shop chains, sandwich shops, food halls, delicatessens and farm shops as well as the Internet shopping channel QVC. Clam’s cakes can also be purchased on the company’s website, www.clamscakes.co.uk.
“Our aim is to double the size of the business and to sell our cakes in more outlets across the UK so that more people can taste how good they are”
Lewis said, going on to point out that “Our unique selling point is that we make high quality cakes by hand in small batches with no additives or preservative. We use real ingredients, non hydrogenated fats, the cakes are suitable for vegetarians and we also try to source all our ingredients locally where possible, supporting local business. We still use recipes that have been passed down by generations of my family and developed for today’s market.”
To help its continued growth, the company is receiving marketing support from the food and drink mentoring programme offered by the Food, Fish and Market Development Division of the Welsh Assembly Government.