A Christmas cake made with Brussels sprouts and all the trimmings has just been launched nationwide.
Ex-Reinwood dinner lady Allison Whitmarsh’s Christmas Dinner Cake – baked with Brussels sprouts, parsnips, cranberries, chestnuts and carrots – is now available from online retailer Ocado.
The UK launch of the £18 cake follows its success on Dragon’s Den almost a year ago. The cake creator and ProperMaid owner secured £50,000 backing from BBC Dragon Deborah Meaden in return for a 25% share of her business.
Allison, who lives at Marsh, said: “Seeing our ChristmasDinner Cake finally being sold nationwide is literally a dream come true.
“It is going to be a very busy Christmas for us, we hope! I have no idea how many we will sell – a purely finger-in-the-air figure would be around 2,000 but we really don’t know.”
The cake is made at Heritage Mills, Oakes, by Allison and her ProperMaid team and they hope it will be the ultimate gift or table showstopper. And with all the trimmings, except for turkey and gravy, it’s also suitable for vegetarians.
The company has made a name for handmade cakes and loaves with unusual flavours including chocolate chilli and fudge, beetroot and chocolate and the award-winning dandelion and burdock.
Allison set up ProperMaid after deciding, at the age of 40, to study hospitality management at Huddersfield University. Since then she has gone from strength to strength, doubling her turnover this year.
She has just secured a contract with Prete Manger and now employs 22 staff, many of whom work part-time to fit in with family life.
Next year she will be moving to bigger premises, but says she is passionate about staying in Huddersfield and supporting the local community.
Deborah Meaden said: “Allison is a tremendous example of how entrepreneurs with great ideas, excellent products, a sound business model and the passion and drive to succeed can quickly make a difference in business, as well as in their local communities.”