We just love Gingerbread...
Hawkens Gingerbread is an artisan producer of high-quality gingerbread products, including both our Hawkens Gingerbread and England’s oldest commercially traded biscuit: Grantham Gingerbread.
Husband and wife team Alastair and Kerry Hawken, saved Grantham Gingerbread from becoming confined to the history books when they learned that the production of the biscuit for which their town had always been famous for, had fallen out of production.
Alastair set about baking, without a recipe and after much experimenting, failing, refining and focus group taste testing, the product came back to market and has become the success it is today.
After a chance meeting with a fourth-generation family member of William Eggleston it was later discovered that the recipe was identical to the original!
Alastair says "I have been a food fanatic all of my life. I love food. I love great food more, which is why for many years now I have been passionately involved in businesses in the food industry, crafting stunning food that simply excites the taste buds. I am a Grantham Gingerbread, a nick name given to all people born and raised in this fantastic town. I was born, raised and schooled in Grantham and I am now proud to still live here with my own scrummy family.”
In 1740, William Eggleston opened his bakery in Grantham.
One day whilst trying to make the popular Grantham Whetstone biscuits, the first form of biscuits ever sold, William accidentally stumbled across the formula for gingerbread when he used the wrong ingredient. This ‘mistake’ was hugely enjoyed by the bakery’s customers and soon William was travelling the country selling his Grantham Gingerbread.
Up until the 1970s, Grantham Gingerbread continued to be sold throughout the town by many bakery shops. Each baker claimed to have ‘the original’ recipe and whilst the different versions were similar, no one could be sure they were actually using the original.
Sadly, as the number of bakeries within the town began to dwindle, the places selling the product on their counter tops fell and by the turn of the century Grantham Gingerbread was no longer being sold within the town.
An entire generation of local children were, for the first time in over 250 years, growing up not enjoying this delicious treat.
Everything changed in 2009 when Alastair Hawken discovered the problem and within months the biscuit was again being produced and sold in its home town of Grantham.