Tuesday, 20 May 2014

5 Questions - Katie's Homemade Tablet

A few weeks ago I received an email through the contact form on Gerry's Kitchen from a local food producer asking where she can send some samples to. Never one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I promptly fired the GKHO address and waited to see what would turn up in the post.
The producer in question was Kathleen Bryce, the inspiration behind Katie's Homemade Tablet, a confectioner based in the sleepy North Lanarkshire village of Gartcosh.
To most people who grew up in the West of Scotland, homemade tablet is the sugary sweet treat that your gran would have made. Everyone's gran made the best tablet in the world, each using just three simple ingredients, butter, sugar and condensed milk. You would think that if tablet uses just three ingredients, surely everyone should be able to make it? Unfortunately not, tablet differs from fudge in that it has a brittle, grainy texture, and getting the consistency just right proves difficult for most.
Here's Katie's story;
How did you get started?
Having made tablet for many years for family and friends, and being told time and time again that I should start a business; I finally decided to take the plunge! I come from a family of foodies who all love to cook, eat good food and share recipes. Tablet has always been part of our family celebrations, whenever it’s shared with others they all seem to comment that it’s “just like their Gran/Mum/Dad used to make”, they would then ask us to make it for them. The feedback and response from testing the market with our product was pretty overwhelming and encouraged the development of Katie’s Homemade Tablet. We are passionate about retaining the taste and texture that we remember from childhood.

What the best piece of business advice you could give?

It’s very early days for this business and we are learning so much every day, some of the best advice received has to be from Entrepreneurial-Spark Business Accelerator, they love the product and offer an enormous amount of help, advice and support. For me personally their advice “Be comfortable with being uncomfortable” has huge significance and also to build relationships with your customers, I feel that’s really important. The only other piece of advice I would give is to just keep going and don’t stop, even if your moving slowly your still going in the right direction.

Where would you like to see your business in 5 years time?

To be known as a quality Scottish producer would be fantastic and for our product to be stocked throughout Scotland and abroad would be the icing on the cake.

If you could cook one of your own products what would it be and why?

This would need to be vanilla tablet, at the moment we have one flavour of tablet, we wanted to get this well established before expanding our range. We are currently experimenting with new flavours and they will be added when we are 100% happy with them.

You can invite one person living or dead to your last meal, who would it be and what would be on the menu?

This would need to be my Gran who died many years ago. Her friend and neighbour gave my family her tablet recipe and I still have her handwritten recipe to this day, although it has been tweaked a little it still has the three key ingredients that every good tablet needs; butter, sugar and condensed milk.

My Gran and our whole family made this for years, it would be fantastic for Gran to see what is happening with the business, I know she would be delighted. Anyway let’s get on with dinner, for Gran it would need to be a traditional dinner and my all time favourite to cook is leg of lamb with all the trimmings. For pudding, rhubarb crumble is a must, another of her neighbours used to shout me into her garden and give me armfuls of rhubarb wrapped in newspaper to take to my Gran’s house, this was made into the most amazing jams and crumble. Again I tweaked the recipe and like to add a couple of spoonfuls of Crème de cassis to the rhubarb, it just makes it even more yummy.

True to her word, Katie had my samples delivered in just a few days with three 100g bags of Katie's Homemade Tablet arriving through the post. Myself and Nicola were just about to embark upon our trip to London so I stuffed a couple of the bags into my man-bag so that we could enjoy our samples on the train.
The tablet was rich & buttery, with the right grainy texture that dissapeared to a smooth, sweet finish. The first bag didn't last too long as both myself and Nicola couldn't get enough of Katie's Homemade Tablet, both of us really enjoying the taste from yester-year. We decided to keep the second bag in case we needed an emergency hangover cure whilst in old London Town.

Available in a single bags or gift boxes, as well as options for weddings, corporate events and wholesale, Katie's Homemade Tablet is able to offer a wonderful sugar rush to satisfy many a sweet tooth. Check out the Katie's Homemade Tablet website for details on how to order your own personal stash of tablet, or to find out more about wholesale orders.

I would like to thank Katie for getting in touch and letting us sample her delicious product, and also thank her for letting me tell her story on Gerry's Kitchen.

Keep up to date with Katie's Homemade Tablet on Facebook and Twitter.



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