For October we were delighted to share with you the most heavenly devine chocolate brownies on the planet. Fair & Square Chocolate Brownies is headed up by Sarah Jaskowska who purely from a love of food, good ingredients and, lets face it, chocolate, has created a chocolate brownie you will travel far and wide to get. Here Sarah tells us what's happening at Fair & Square at the moment and what's in the pipe line...
In three words describe your business
Indulgently delicious brownies!
What do you love most about the Cotswolds
The view from my kitchen window. I live and work in the north Cotswolds high up overlooking fields, trees and big skies.
What or who inspired you to start up your business
At the risk of sounding negative, in my last job I was burnt out to the point of exhaustion I vowed that, in future if I was going to work incredibly hard it would be for myself. I turned a part time brownie baking obsession into my business and haven’t looked back. Selling through events, festivals and markets is a fantastic way to meet my customers face to face.
What's your favourite product within your range
My nutty brownie. I play with different varieties but autumn is a wonderful season for nuts. I’m using lots of walnuts and hazelnuts and have a great box of cobnuts to play with! If you asked my customers they would probably say Salted Caramel or Raspberry Cheesecake brownies.
How do you go about sourcing your ingredients
My ingredient philosophy is all about quality and sustainability; I buy local whenever possible and Fairtrade for my chocolate and cocoa. I would say that the internet and word of mouth are my main sources of information. I frequently pick other producers’ brains but do find that, in a scattered rural community, the internet is essential. When I started out I discovered great suppliers who were literally on my doorstep that I never knew existed; as a result I’m so grateful to have butter from Holmleigh Dairy and eggs from Billy’s Eggs delivered to my door from less than five miles away.
What's your top kitchen tip
I don’t have a huge work space so organization is absolutely key; cut down the clutter, keep it simple and keep it clean!
When you're not creating delicious brownies what do you like to get up to
Ha, ha! Umm….very little. Seriously, working hard has taught me to make the most of down time; either do absolutely nothing and relish it, or get out, walk somewhere gorgeous or share a great meal. If I have a little more time I love the coast; friends on the Gower in South Wales or family by the moors in my home county of Yorkshire.
What's been your favourite food/drink experience in the Cotswolds
I’m a big fan of The Bell Inn in Stow on the Wold. I love being able to get a great meal on a Sunday evening, it can brilliantly round off a manic weekend. New England Coffee House (also in Stow) does a mean flat white which always puts me back on track.
Who would be your ideal four dinner guests
I love inspirational people and anyone who make me laugh so I would invite Willy Harcourt Cooze for his fabulously driven entrepreneurial energy and love of chocolate (of course he’d have to bring a box of samples instead of flowers), Nigella Lawson who I find a really engaging writer, cook and TV person (I’d pick her brains incessantly), Mark Thomas, a great comedian but also a fantastic go-getter politically astute cookie (we’d put the world to rights after dinner). And finally, Samuel L Jackson, a brilliant actor but mainly for his absolute cool factor.
What exciting things do you have planned for your business for this coming year
Branching further afield into retail outlets and coffee shops in the big city so I’m sorting out the packaging at the moment. I’m preparing a BIG festival application and also developing the website and launching my blog so that I can get back into my other great love of writing… pretty quiet really.
For information about Fair & Square Chocolate Brownies visit their website www.fairtradebrownies.co.uk