Friday, 29 November 2013

Honeybuns Bakery

A humble and honest little business with a lot of love for great food.

Many of you will already know Honeybuns Bakery. They produce fantastic little gems in the shape of cakes, biscuits and more. With flavours reminiscent of great cooks of the past rather than the mass production of today. Created by Emma and helped by a wonderful small team of dedicated staff. Honeybuns can be visited at their base in Sherborne, Dorset, ordered online and are starting to appear all over the country.

Honeybuns Bakery accidentally stumbled across the freefrom market by producing cakes that were naturally gluten free by ingredient. The award winning cakes, brownies, flapjacks, shortbreads, cookies and a new range of savouries contain no wheat or gluten and some are dairy free too. The Honeybuns range uses polenta flour and ground nuts instead of wheat flour. This attracted the attention of some coeliac customers and before long Honeybuns had quite a glutenfree following. Today the entire range is gluten free and safe for coeliacs. 

You have to look carefully for the dairy free and gluten free lines but when you find them they are worth it. To make life easier for you these are the yummy treats which are free of both gluten and dairy.

Sconeybun a light and fluffy sweet tasting bread with a tasty almond flavour, half scone half bun!

Almond and Salted Pistachio Cookie chewy and sweet with a complimentary strong flavour of pistachio

Amondi Cookie this version of a classic amaretti is soft and chewy with wonderful flavour

Scrumdiddleyumptious Cookie Gluten and dairy free almond paste cookie with stem ginger and lemon


We had the pleasure and privilege of posing some questions for Emma and this is what she said:

What makes Honeybuns different from other homemade cake makers?

Honeybuns focus primarily on indulgent treats made with luxurious ingredients which happen to be gluten free. Texture, taste & the Italian provenance of the key original recipes are all important. We prioritise the happiness of our team and we put collective energy into making Honeybuns a very special place to work with and to visit.

Would you be prepared to have an entirely gluten free and dairy free range? 

We probably wouldn’t be the best company to attempt to do this. Our focus is on the core range of products we have created and developed, many of which contain butter. Our relatively small bakery means we can only realistically segregate for a couple of dairy free lines.
We are however, putting a lot of focus onto dairy free with reference to our new gluten free mixes. We have a cake mix which can be made up as a dairy & gluten free cake and we’re soon to be launching two more lines to create a range. These are mixed in a separate building which is dairy & gluten free.

How do you avoid cross contamination in your kitchen?

With gluten, we are a dedicated gluten free site. With dairy we have a colour coding system in place (this includes colour coded utensils, disposable aprons & demarcated tables), ongoing team training and dedicated dairy free production & packing days.
We also have a specially planned dairy free wash down before dairy free production.

What is your biggest challenge as a company?

Challenges don’t seem to stay the same. Currently there is enormous pressure across the industry on raw ingredients’ costs. Sourcing certified free from ingredients is time consuming on its own; so the additional calling around for competitive prices has been an issue.

What is your biggest challenge with the dairy free and gluten free products in your range?

I guess we’ve created our own recipes which celebrate naturally free from ingredients. So the challenge was creating something genuinely innovative which is going to work commercially.

Do you have any tips for newly freefrom bakers?

I think if you can tap into your creativity and create something from wonderfully free from ingredients eg making a beautiful almond, polenta & orange cake rather than beating yourself up for not being able to create the “perfect” gluten free Victoria Sponge. Personally I think it is more interesting to see where the ingredients lead you rather than trying to replicate something which usually has gluten in.

The ingredients in your products are full of flavour, do you have a favourite?

Thank you! I love the pistachio & slightly salted cookie. To me it’s really clean tasting with a lovely chew & the few ingredients used are in harmony.

I was overjoyed to see your products in a large supermarket cafe and my nearest Zoo, will you be
supplying to more large chains?

It’s not a plan to focus on large chains per se. We are relatively humble in our aspirations. As long as we can remain sustainable and hand made & independent we’ll be happy. In a competitive market we also need to be nimble & go where the client needs us.

What would you like to do with Honeybuns in the future?

We’d like to carry on for as long as it remains fun, challenging and rewarding. Diversification into books and online retailing of a small, thoughtfully put together collection of food, books & ingredients really appeals to us as a team.

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