Taste Cumbria – are you Tasting Cumbria at its best?

Taste Cumbria. It was another exciting day in Cockermouth, not just because of the estimated 40 thousand expected visitors, and not because of the predicted £3million benefit to the town, but because it gave me chance to really take time to shop around the town.Fyne Fish at Taste Cumbria

A sprinkling of Taste Cumbria and a proper look at the town. Fyne Fish first stop, then along to Jacy’s (a girl always needs nice underwear) before collecting a treat from Indigo Lounge. It’s a lovely clothes shop but would do better if they propped the door open to make it more welcoming. There are vintage furniture shops, artisan bakeries, lovely galleries (Percy House is a must), and of course, chance to peruse down the parade of blue and white carnival tents under which producers sheltered from the wind.

It’s always nice to catch up with local producers who are also members of our Rural Women in Business Network (Deer n Dexter and Beck Trout Fishery). Their meat and fish are always on my list at the local farmers markets – and long may that continue.

Great to find something new too – Fyne Fish had a stand on the corner – and Sharon was serving King Prawn Thai Curry with sticky rice – cut up to look like a sandwich, great idea for lunch bites.

Cereal thrillers on the loose Cereal thrillers Tim and Luke at Taste Cumbria

Then we discovered Lakeland Mues, the boys have been at Gifted Eden market in in Penrith and were always very enthusiastic. They’ve taken the plunge to quit their jobs and go full time – hand shake indeed, #entrepreneurs.

Breakfasts will never be the same again. You certainly feel great and righteous after having a bowl of deliciousness for breakfast. It won’t make me swing from a tree and jump in a plunge pool, but it does get the system going and should give consistent release of energy.

What goes well with breakfast – a cup of tea. I seem to be hit on the head with new tea at the moment – Carvetti have launched a tea range and it’s very good – I had the Earl Grey with Cornflower at Lingholm Estate yesterday and today tried The Tea Company – bought a tea mug to brew my new breakfast blend – can’t wait to try after my bowl of museday muesli.


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Harrogate was a delicious affair

dragons denFood is something I love, so couldn’t pass up the opportunity to go to Harrogate Fine Food Fair. What an inspirational day it was.

I met a man who makes vodka from cows milk, a couple from Devon making the most delicious Advocado and Raspberry Ice Cream, another young couple creating Mocktails and had chance to see them in the Dragon’s Den.

I was also inspired by a Northumberland dairy farmer who has made cheese and ice-cream for years, but has just branched out into yoghurt. There was an amazing carrot chutney, some out of the world chocolates and of course, plenty of jam – hard to walk past Cumbria’s own Claire’s handmade. A great looking stand with very consistent branding.

I met the boys from the Fentimans stand and had a great time testing new flavours and discussing old bar mats. If you have an interest in food marketing, what better place could there be to spend a day.

It’s made me more focused – follow what you like best, and if food be the music of life, play on. I’ll be writing about a few of the products I loved, so watch out.

Claires HandmadeFentiman boys

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Fabulous Food and Drink Award Wins

best small producer carvetii

What a fabulous night at the Cumbria Life Food & Drink Awards last month. I was privileged to sit between two clients – the Lakes Free Range Egg Co who won large Food Producer last year and Carvetii Coffee who were nominated in two categories this year.

Very pleased to see Carvetii win Small Producer of the Year – the most hotly fought category, and proud to see them shortlisted for the Marketing Award against worthy winner Hawkshead Relish.

It was the ultimate night for Market Sense – with winning food clients worthy of the recognition they received. You can only write the truth, so helping both these companies with award entries is easy when there is so much material to go at.

I’d also like to say well done to  – Sharon is very innovative and I look forward to going on one of their sushi making courses very soon.

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Kick start playtime for Easter

Play area set to start Eden Housing Association

Eden Housing Association (www.edenha.org.uk) does some great work in the community and I love the passion they put into their projects. The new play area in Penrith is a real team effort – working in partnership to make it happen. Over £44,000 was raised by the Fun on the Field Committee, made up of residents and various bodies. It means just in time for Easter there will be a much improved play area. We popped along to take a picture before work started – the sun came out at the end

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Loved up at the wildlife park


Making headline news on Valentines Day for the Lake District Wildlife Park (www.lakedistrictwildlifepark.com) was great – sharing the cover wiht the launch of 50 Shades of Grey movie. Otterly lovely was the park story on two otters united to start a new family. Animals have a real appeal and this story helped the park to a very successful Febraury half Term. That and the lovely picture of Lemurs with pancakes.


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The Lakes, Cakes and the Megga Egg McMuffin

lakes free range egg co stand at McDonald's

It’s very rewarding to be able to connect clients with immensly tallented businesses in Cumbria. At Market Sense our latest challenge was to create a market stall to represent the Lakes Free Range Egg Company (www.lakesfreerange.co.uk) at McDonald’s 40th birthday event in London. As well as collecting lots of different leaves and making out of season pace eggs (don’t ask), we needed a foot high Egg McMuffin.

Thanks to Jackie from Celebration Cakes by Jackie (www.celebrationcakesbyjackie.co.uk) we came up trumps. A centrepiece to be proud of. The result: a display that was bang on brief, arresting yet understated and a talking point at McDonald’s big birthday bash.

Egg McMuffin

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