A BUSINESSWOMAN has discovered the recipe for success after her jams and marmalades have flown off the shelves.
Kate Ellis, of Washinghall Lane, Eastoft, launched her Hawthorn Cottage Preserves two years ago - in the eye of a recession - but her products continue to go from strength to strength.
The 45-year-old explained sales of preserves in baskets doubled in December 2010, compared to the previous year, with many given as gifts or just enjoyed as treats over the festive period.
And such has been her success that Kate has given a number of talks to community groups in the Isle and beyond.
She said: “It has been lovely to be invited to several groups as a speaker in the last 18 months. Womens Institutes, Ladies and Fellowship groups have all been very welcoming and enjoyed the opportunity to taste before buying.
“Mulled plum jam with spices and red wine and pumpkin jam have been amongst the more unusual samples.”
The former occupational therapist has always been interested in homemade crafts and produce and along with her mum, Joan Brumby, the pair have won numerous awards at events such as Ealand Show and Epworth Show.
“In 2010 I got an opportunity to grow products on a piece of land a mile from my home,” she added.
“I grow fruit and vegetables organically and I never spray anything plus I use combination planting to protect the crops.
“Once you have tasted homemade goods, you realise how artificial some of the commercial products are - you don’t get that saccharine type taste, it’s much purer.”
Kate - who also writes stories and poems - is part of the Crosby Country Market Cooperative and, along with other producers, traders sell homemade preserves, cakes, sweets, honey, crafts, fruit and vegetables.
Ironically, she has a food intolerance to fruit which means Kate has to rely on friends to taste her products before they go on sale.
She added: “I don’t have any trouble finding people willing to be a victim and nothing goes to waste!”
The next Crosby markets will be held on Wednesday, December 7 and 21, at the CrosbyOne Centre on Digby Street, Scunthorpe (behind St.George’s Church on Frodingham Road) from 2pm to 4pm.
For more information contact Kate on 01724 798831, e-mail her on firstname.lastname@example.org or she has a Twitter account at jammyorwhat.