I was recently invited along to the BBC Good Food Show at the SECC in Glasgow. On the day I was lucky enough to meet so many fantastic local and independent producers who had brought their fares to market. I spent most of the day sampling everything from chocolates, sausages, craft beers, honey, small batch vodka, cheeses and jams, as well as lots of cakes. Everyone that I caught up with was given the opportunity to answer their very own set of '5 Questions' and have their story told, and since the show I have been overwhelmed by the number business who have taken time out to get their answers back to me.
The first person to get back to me was Halifax lass and keen baker, Debra Murphy who runs Kirkintilloch based Mother Murphy's Home Baking & Afternoon Teas with the help of her husband Jim.
Here's Debra's story;How did you get started?
I have always enjoyed baking and the feeling of satisfaction when watching somebody enjoy something I have spent time making. In January 2013 I was very suddenly taken ill which resulted in major surgery. This health scare made me realise that I had to put a plan in place for my own cafe/tea room. I was not in a position to open a cafe, so decided to have our kitchen at home extended to allow me to start a home-baking business from my house. We launched Mother Murphy’s on 17 May 2014 with a charity afternoon tea in our back garden. We raised just under £400 which we donated to The Firefighters Charity.
Initially we just wanted to have good quality cakes, but found we were being asked by potential customers if we could make gluten free products. This developed into making goodies using gluten free, wheat free and dairy free ingredients. We then needed names for our ranges and decided on Delicious Without for our products made with gluten free, wheat free and dairy free ingredients and Wi Nowt Tekken Owt for our range with gluten, wheat and dairy (a bit of Yorkshire humour here).
We are continually trying to develop our products and for the Good Food Show came up with our new Empty Road – a change from the traditional Rocky Road as this is made with gluten free, wheat free and dairy free ingredients. It took a little time to develop but using our shortbread and homemade cinder (puff) candy we were able to replace the usual digestive biscuits and maltezers and come up with what we feel is a great tasting product.
What’s the best piece of business advice you could give?
Set high standards for yourself and always believe in your ideas. Never allow people to put you down so much that you no longer believe in yourself. Set high standards and never go for the easy option as quality will always suffer.
Where would you like to see your business in 5 years time?
As a high quality Afternoon Tea Room serving our own bread, cakes and goodies on fine china with the mountains of Scotland in the background.
If you could only cook one of your own products/recipes, what would it be & why?
Mini coconut tarts with homemade marmalade – because they are my Mum’s favourite.
You can invite one person (living or dead) to your last meal – Who would it be and why? …and what’s on the menu?
My Grandma Lammie – because I miss her continually and, although she lived in Halifax, West Yorkshire for many years, she was originally from Scotland and I wish she could see me now living and working in her homeland. On the menu would be a traditional afternoon tea – sandwiches, Victoria sponge, angel cake, pancakes and strawberry tarts, all served on china plates with leaf tea from china cups. My Gran always loved her sandwiches, cakes and tea – which had to be drunk from her own china cup.
So if your looking for someone to help organise a special afternoon tea for you or a loved one, or just fancy treating yourself to some quality home baking, then why not get in touch with Mother Murphy?
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