Manufacturing

Published: December 10, 2021 | Updated: December 10, 2021

End of an era as bakery transitions lock, stock and biscuit barrel to The Artful Baker business

The Artful Baker’s six ‘hero’ lines from January 1, 2022.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

It’s all change at a Dorset artisan bakery from the end of this month.

The baking team at the Christchurch-based The Great British Biscotti Co are saying farewell to the business’s founding brand.

From January 1, 2022, it will transition 100 per cent into The Artful Baker business.

Next month will also see The Artful Baker stripped back to six ‘hero’ lines.

They’ll comprise a mix of revamped favourites and also two new arrivals – Salted Caramel, Pecan & Toasted Hazelnut and Fennel, Pink Peppercorn & Sea Salt.

The new biscotti line-up will be:

  • Triple Belgian Chocolate
  • Sour Cherry & Dark Chocolate
  • Salted Caramel, Pecan & Roasted Hazelnut
  • Smoked Jalapeno & Lime
  • Fennel, Pink Peppercorn & Sea Salt
  • Sundried Tomato, Kalamata Olives & Oregano

As with many other artisanal businesses, lockdown provided the perfect opportunity to take stock and revisit and refresh the brand.

It started out in 2016 as a small batch artisanal offering supplying an independent sector including delis and cafes, hamper companies and the National Trust.

However, much has changed over the intervening five years including:

  • A significant site overhaul to create the right mix of artisanal craft and preparing for growth
  • A significant increase in exports
  • Major collaborations such as Hotel Chocolat and John Lewis
  • A move into market-leading vegan & gluten-free alternatives
  • Perhaps most strikingly of all, becoming the inaugural winners of Warburton’s Batch Ventures fund.

Founder and CEO Paul Rostand, pictured left, said: “Working with Warburtons, coupled with positive feedback about our new Artful Baker single baton offerings, reminded us that we are really onto something special with regards taking a timeless classic and giving it extra integrity and category authority by only utilising best-in-class ingredients (real butter, free-range eggs, pink peppercorns, smoked jalapeno), whilst never resorting to palm oil, lazy fillers or artificial nasties.

“Great British Biscotti allowed us to hone our craft in creating sublime permissible treats.

“But now we’re in a significant growing phase, and with us looking beyond biscotti, we needed a more indulgent brand identity to reflect our increasingly indulgent and diverse biscuit beliefs.”

The Artful Baker’s six-strong selection is considered to not only provide the perfect building blocks for growth but also act as the springboard for ‘next stage’ biscuit development beyond biscotti.

Paul’s business secured financial backing from the UK’s largest bakery brand, Warburtons, earlier this year.

The 145-year-old company, now in its fifth generation of family ownership, is providing a six-figure funding package.

It’s the maiden investment of Warburtons’ Batch Ventures bakery innovation fund after the Bolton-based giant teamed up with Mission Ventures, co-founded by food entrepreneurs Nigel Parrott, John Stapleton and Paddy Willis.

The fund is supporting innovative start-ups and SMEs in the bakery category.

It was in June 2016 that Paul, then part of a three-strong team, started the Great British Biscotti Co.

Originally launched in the New Forest, the business quickly outgrew its premises, culminating in a move to its current 4,000 sq ft site on Christchurch’s Somerford Business Park within a year.

All the products are baked in Christchurch by a team now numbering 15.

Last year they produced 5.5 million biscotti biscuits.

Until now they have been sold under the Great British Biscotti Co label in 500 delis and farm shops nationwide and under The Artful Baker brand in Asda and through Ocado and Amazon.

The Great British Biscotti Co also exports to Norway, Germany, the US/Canada, the Middle East and even the home of the biscotti, Italy.