A Cumbrian cake business is celebrating supplying Liberty of London for the first time.

Ginger Bakers, of Kendal, has customers including Selfridges, Victoria & Albert Museum, and Booths, is now supplying Liberty with its award-winning damson brandy fruit cake, made with Cumbrian damsons.

“It’s a good British cake, a rich, moist fruit cake with a strong regional story,” said Ginger Bakers owner and founder Lisa Smith.

Founded in 2006, Ginger Bakers, which supplies delis, cafes and farmshops across the UK, prides itself on quality, and its locally-sourced ingredients.

Lisa said: “Quality is really the key for us. It’s very tempting to try and compete in different markets as there are always opportunities around. Maybe the business could have been even more successful if we had done some of those things. But we have always stuck to our core values of quality, sustainability, care, and creativity. We have stayed true to ourselves, stayed true to what we do, and I am very proud of that,” said Lisa.

Ginger Bakers’ suppliers include Hawkshead Relish, Hawkshead Brewery, Lakeland Artisan, and Rinaldo’s Speciality Coffee and Tea.

Its latest product - gin, cranberry and clementine fruit cake - launched late last year, features Ulverston’s Shed 1 Gin.

Lisa puts the business’ success down to sticking to its ethos and core values, always putting quality first, and a determination to ride out any difficult times.

She added: “We don’t want to be the next Mr Kipling. We are not going to be the next cake millionaires. We never wanted that."

Ginger Bakers now employs six people with plans to expand to 10 people over the next two years, with further growth coming from producing cakes for other brands.

She added: “Like any small business there are always turbulent times when you are starting out. Cashflow can be the toughest issue. But if you stick with it, have faith, utter determination and are passionate about finding a way, you come through.

“You also need to be flexible and always looking for opportunities, always looking towards the future. There will be milestones along the way. Like the first 10,000 mince pies we made for Booths and the first 10,000 Christmas cakes we made for Aldi. But it ends up being about more than that, about growing a sustainable, responsible business.”

Lisa is one of the pioneers of the This Is Cumbria initiative, having collaborated with Maria Whitehead, co-owner and director of Hawkshead Relish, to get it off the ground.

She is delighted to have seen it grow through the leadership, expertise and energy of Jacqui and Keith Jackson of Thomas Jardine and Co, and attract sponsorship from leading legal firm Cartmell Shepherd.

Lisa said: “Maria and I spoke because we really wanted to get the ball rolling as we felt that Cumbria was lagging behind other regions in the way it marketed and promoted its food and drink.

“We are passionate about Cumbrian food businesses working together. We have got such fantastic food and drink producers in Cumbria and such amazing venues, it has really grown in the last five to 10 years.

“Jacqui and Keith took it on which has been brilliant and we are hoping it will go from strength to strength. Hopefully we can get a united approach by getting Cumbria Tourism on board, Made In Cumbria, and Cumbria LEP, to avoid there being too many splinter groups.

“I am also on a food and drink innovation programme at Lancaster University which is providing some great insight.

"It’s now about how we can bring it all together, working successfully together under the This is Cumbria brand to best help food and drink producers across the county.”

Lisa is a big advocate of attending the annual Farm and Deli Show at Birmingham’s NEC, where she and other This Is Cumbria food and drink producers will exhibit to 30,000 potential buyers from March 30 to April 1.

“In our experience it is the most relevant trade show for us. I would urge any small business or artisan producer who is looking to sell to that market to give it a go.

“It’s attended by small, independent businesses owners, cafe, farmshop and deli owners who are like-minded people who totally understand what we are trying to do.

“What’s great for small businesses is that they can take a small space in the This Is Cumbria section and directly reach those markets.”

Peter Stafford, managing director of Cartmell Shepherd solicitors, said: “We are delighted to support the This Is Cumbria initiative and to help the amazing food and drink producers we have in Cumbria to realise their potential and to fulfil their ambitions.”