A granola created in the farmhouse kitchen of a Gloucestershire bed and breakfast, has seen the bed and breakfast owner, Deborah Lamplugh, launch her product to the consumer market.
Forthay Granola is home-baked, gluten free, totally natural with no additives and no refined sugar. Sound too good to be true? It might be (we haven’t tasted it), but lots of people love it already, and it’s picked up a Good Taste 1-Star Great Taste Award.
Deborah, founder and co-owner of Forthay Bed & Breakfast in Gloucestershire, made her own granola for her guests.
When the first lockdown happened in 2020, she decided used the time to test her product. In June, she loaded her car with a batch of samples and drove around to local farm shops and village stalls and handed out samples. The response was overwhelming as orders came in.
Deborah then contacted the high profile Newlyns Farm Shop & Cookery School in Hampshire and they agreed to a taster of her only blend, honey, nut & cranberry. They enjoyed it so much that they asked her to develop more blends for them to sell.
By December 2020, Forthay Granola had four blends, an award, multiple stockists and was scaling faster than Deborah had anticipated. She contacted Cirencester Growth Hub who put her in touch with Business Navigator, Stephen Meyer to discuss her business and what support was needed.
“After talking to Stephen, we identified that we needed a separate website for the granola as it was being sold through the B&B website and he advised us on which business grant we could apply for to fund this next step. Not only did he give us advice and business support, but he also connected us with new stockists. It was so nice to have someone believe in our business and help it to grow.” Deborah said.
Stephen then passed her on to Hannah Darby, Business Guide, who worked with Deborah and her web design team to create an e-commerce website specifically for Forthay Granola. “Hannah became like my mentor – there were so many things she helped us with and was very involved to help create the best customer experience on the website,” said Deborah.
The business has since diversified and seen an increase in direct and wholesale orders, PR exposure in food magazines and an ITV feature with Ainsley Harriott due to air later this year.
As the business grew so did Deborah’s needs – production and distribution became a larger focus as the demand increased. With Deborah wanting to convert their double garage into a commercial kitchen, the Growth Hub stepped in to support again with Business Guide, Peter Brown, helping her explore production expansion.
A cancer survivor, Deborah is conscious of diet, health, nutrition and wellbeing in her everyday life and applies this philosophy to her farmhouse kitchen at Forthay Bed & Breakfast.