Wednesday, 25 June 2014


Alastair Hawken with Grantham Gingerbread

Yellowbellies can enjoy a taste of history with their cuppa when tucking into a new local biscuit, dating back to 1740.

Grantham Gingerbread is being produced by Alastair Hawken, a coffee shop owner from the town who has taken on the task of reviving this long-lost teatime treat.

In the 1700s, Grantham was one of the stopping places for horse-drawn coaches on the Great North Road. Passengers and drivers would stock up on so-called Grantham Whetstones for the journey – hard, flat bakes which were some of the first biscuits made for sale in the country.
Baker William Egglestone made a mistake in his recipe in 1740 and Grantham Gingerbread was born. It was very popular but in the 1970s, stopped being sold commercially. Alastair stepped in a few years ago and started producing them for his shop Panini, in Grantham’s Westgate. 

Now, 180g packets of the biscuits are being stocked in all of Lincolnshire Co-op’s 77 food stores. They’re part of the Society’s popular Love Local range, which includes a variety of goods sourced from the trading area, from bread to beer and from cheese to crisps.
“We’re a nation of biscuit lovers and I’m sure people will enjoy rediscovering Grantham Gingerbread,” said Alastair. “It’s got a very light, delicate ginger flavour with a buttery aftertaste.”

Each batch is made from sausage-shaped rolls of a very dry dough which is cut up and then rolled, by hand, into small balls and baked.

The finished biscuits are bite-sized and look similar in shape to an Amaretto. Unlike traditional gingerbread, they don’t contain treacle so are very light in appearance and they also have a unique honeycomb-style centre.
“Grantham Gingerbread is one of the oldest biscuits in the country and when people try one, they can’t believe it isn’t more widely sold,” said Alastair. “As well as that unique heritage, there is the unique flavour – it’s a very special biscuit.”
Alastair, whose wife Kerry is a big supporter and whose young sons Charlie and Joshua get a name-check on each packet, said he was delighted to be supplying a large local retailer like Lincolnshire Co-op.

“We want to spread the word about Grantham Gingerbread. Because Lincolnshire Co-op has lots of community stores around the county and beyond, it means that lots more people have the chance to try our biscuits,” he said.
“Lincolnshire Co-op is known for its support of local producers, it’s second to none, so we’re pleased to be working with the team.”

Supply Chain Manager for Lincolnshire Co-op Nicola Berry said customers would love trying Grantham Gingerbread.

“It’s got a great local story and it’s also delicious, a really high-quality product,” she said. “We’re lucky to have such goods on our doorstep in Lincolnshire and we’re happy to do our bit to support these artisan producers through our Love Local range.”

For more on Grantham Gingerbread go to and for details about Lincolnshire Co-op or the Love Local range, visit

No comments:

Post a Comment