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The Ladybird Bakery – Gluten Free Goodies

18 May

Update: Ladybird have now moved into larger premises at Franfurt Gate.  Click here to see pics

I recently heard about a new gluten free company based in Plymouth called The Ladybird Bakery.  Thanks to Julie Petvin at Talking Good Food for the tip off.  Naturally excited to hear about a new Plymouth based gluten free company, I introduced myself via their Facebook page and we exchanged emails so I could find out a little more about them.  The good news was that Ladybird were due to appear at the Sutton Harbour Local Produce Market a couple of days later, so Abby and I braved the elements to go down and have a chat and pick up some gluten free goodies.

Sarah left, and Donna right of Ladybird Bakery

Sarah left, and Donna right of Ladybird Bakery

The pouring rain meant customers were in short supply whilst we were there, but it gave us a chance to have a long chat with the Ladybird team Sarah and Donna.  Donna are Sarah are mother and daughter and were both really lovely.  Sarah is gluten intolerant as is her son, though understandably neither want to go through the pain of eating gluten for six weeks to be tested for coeliac disease.  Donna is a baker of 23 years and has previously received requests from customers for gluten free cakes, and after discovering her grandson was gluten intolerant decided to set up a gluten free company with Sarah.  Their household is now totally gluten free as a result.

SamplesDonna and Sarah had a few tasters out at the market, those who know me will not be surprised to know that a headed straight for the lemon drizzle cake first!  The cake was extremely moist and loaded with lemon flavour, it may be said that I’m a bit of a lemon drizzle cake connoisseur and in my opinion that was a very good one.  The other taster was a chocolate truffle made from dates which was also delicious.  It was good to see that there were plenty of savoury and dairy free choices on offer at their stall.

steak pie + quicheAfter hearing about Gluten Free by the Sea, the girls kindly offered me some samples to take away which I was only too happy to accept.  My samples included some lemon drizzle cake, a fantastic chocolate cupcake and some cookies.  The cookies had a great crunch and were really tasty.  Savoury wise there was a cheese and tomato pizza, quiche, steak pie and sausage roll.  The pizza was tasty but didn’t crisp up, though after talking to Donna it seems I should have removed the foil tray, doh!  The sausage roll was also tasty and the quiche was nice and cheesy.  The steak pie was nice though the pastry was a tiny bit dry and the filling could have used some more seasoning.  I’ve fed this back as they were very keen for constructive feedback as they look to improve their new products.

Ladybird Bakery are currently looking into the feasibility of their own shop to sell their products, and are asking anyone who has tried their food to complete the questionnaire here as part of their business plan.  Completed questionnaires can be returned to  In the meantime you will find them at local markets around Plymouth and Torquay, keep an eye on their Facebook page for upcoming event dates.  You can also contact Donna or Sarah on 07870 605913 or the email address above for further ordering information.  I wish them both the very best of luck with their new venture, and I look forward to catching up with them again card

UPDATE 17/01/2015: Donna and Sarah have now opened a permanent stall in Plymouth Pannier Market.  Click here for full details.

Kevin, Gluten Free by the Sea


Delicious Allergen Friendly Soup from Soupy Do!

15 May

Earlier this year I heard from Martyn Phipps who informed me he was setting up a new Plymouth based company, Soupy Do!, that would sell a range of freshly made soups.  Not only that but all of the soups in his range were to be gluten free, dairy free, low in fat and vegetarian.  In addition to that Martyn has since gone a step further and ensured that all of his soups are free from all 14 of the regulated allergens.  A true free from experience!

Soupy Do!

Soupy Do! produce seven flavours of soup which are; Carrot and Ginger, Continental Country, Italian Herb and Red Pepper, Spicy and Smokey Tomato, Super Green, Crimson King and finally Butternut, Cumin and mild chilli.  Martyn was kind enough to drop around some samples of the carrot, tomato and butternut varieties.  All three were packed full of flavour and quite spicy, which is right up my street.  All of the produce used to make the soups is sourced locally in Devon and Cornwall where possible.

I always like to know what inspires a producer to make gluten free foods.  Martyn said “I didn’t set out particularly to make them Gluten free, but awesome tasting, with all the health advantages that they provide. I have two family members that are Coeliac so know the trouble they have finding food that ticks all of the boxes. I couldn’t understand why taste had to be compromised to meet certain criteria, or so many other things added as a compromise, so I set out to prove to myself it could be done.”

Some of you may have sampled these soups at the Coeliac UK Plymouth Group AGM where Soupy Do! were present selling on the day.  The soups are available to buy in Plymouth and will be delivered by Martyn personally to your door.  The delivery area has now been expanded to South Hams including Totnes, Dartmouth, Kingsbridge, Salcombe.  Martyn is also currently investigating national delivery.  Minimum order for delivery is 1kg, with a £1.50 charge for Plymouth delivery, increasing slightly with distance.

I recently placed an order with Soupy Do! and I tried the Continental Country and Italian Herb and Red Pepper soups.  I’m pleased to report that both were delicious and I can highly recommend them.  They were milder than the first three flavours that I tried for those of you who are not as keen as me on spice.  You will also be able to buy these soups at several local markets in and around Plymouth including the new local produce market at Mount Edgcumbe.  Keep an eye on the Soupy Do! Facebook page for further details of other markets.

Kevin, Gluten Free by the Sea

New local produce market for Mount Edgcumbe

6 May

I just wanted to let Gluten Free by the Sea readers know about a new monthly local produce market that is going to be held at Mount Edgcumbe, the first of which is being held this coming Sunday (11th May).  It’s always nice to get the Cremyll ferry over to Mount Edgcumbe and have a stroll in the sun, and the good news is that local gluten free companies Let Them Eat Cake and Soupy Do will be at the event.  I am also told there will be some naturally gluten free cider on offer too!  See the press release below for full details.

Kevin, Gluten Free by the Sea

ME GF poster May

Tamar Grow Local and Let them Eat Cake are working with Mount Edgcumbe to bring a new monthly produce market to the country park.

The market will focus on food and drink made in the Tamar Valley and take place every second Sunday of the month from 11th May to the 16th November.

The new market is just one of many new events planned at the park this year and follows on the heels of numerous small food and craft businesses moving into the Barrow Centre at Mount Edgcumbe this Spring.

Producers confirmed so far for the May market include: Column House Bakery from Devonport Guildhall, Nice and Seedy, InBeer, Pomeroy RareBreeds, High T’s fudge, Eat like a Greek, Soupy-do, Main Event and Hobbs House Preserves with more to be announced next week.

Lisa Hackett, owner of Let them Eat Cake which specializes in gluten and dairy free cakes made wherever possible with vegetables grown in the valley said: “Its such an exciting time at Mount Edgcumbe and we wanted to be a part of it. We are all local producers in the Tamar Valley and are thrilled to have a regular opportunity to present our fantastic produce to the public.”

Co-Chairs of the Mount Edgcumbe Joint Committee had this to say – Cllr Pete Smith of Plymouth City Council, “This forms part of phase one of the transformational change programme at Mount Edgcumbe and we are all looking forward to an exciting summer of activity this year”. Cllr Edwina Hannaford from Cornwall Council said: “Mount Edgcumbe is drawing in local producers from across the Tamar Valley to create a genuinely exciting new collaborative focus in and around the heart of the park.“

The first Tamar Valley produce market takes place on Sunday 11th between 11am and 4pm and is located in the Earls Garden Marquee adjacent to Mount Edgcumbe House.

LOGO 2014

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