Blackberry Cottage is in the heart of rural Berkshire. Kate bakes daily from her shepherds hut and is an innovative baker, creating cakes with vegetables as the largest ingredient.
Blackberry Cottage is owned by me, Kate. I've always used vegetables in my cakes, right from when I was a young girl, making up recipes from whatever I could find. I remember sitting on the counter as a small child eating the raw swede my mum had just chopped - I've always found raw vegetables sweeter than cooked.
Years later, while I was working as a Sport Massage Therapist with Olympic and Paralympic athletes, a client confided that she just couldn't get her child to eat vegetables, or even much fruit. I love a challenge, and knowing how nutritionally-dense spinach is, set to work creating delicious brownies that hid a secret ingredient - a healthy vegetable.
I didn't just want a sprinkle of spinach though, it had to be the biggest ingredient, yet still taste like a traditional cake, this ethos is still at the forefront of my business.
After much trial and error, I had a cake that was loved, by the child and the parents. Word spread, and soon more parents and children were asking to try my 'cakes with secret ingredients'. The next twist is thanks to my husband Tim, who convinced me to try selling my cakes at a local market. Humouring him I baked some cakes and we set up a stall. I brought a book and settled down for a nice, uninterrupted read. But people kept stopping, trying and buying. Soon we'd sold out and my book didn't get read.
I ran the cakes business side by side with my Sports Massage business until it could stand on its own, when it could I gave up being a therapist and became a full-time baker. My husband and I have a smallholding where we keep rare breed sheep, horses, turkeys, chickens, along with Skye our working sheep dog and Willow our rescue dog. We use eggs from our chickens and grow as many vegetables we can for our cakes.
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