Cartmel Sticky Toffee Puddings was enjoying its first taste of help from the men from the ministry in 2006.

The company took part in the UK Trade and Investment Passport to Export programme.

Clive Drinkwater, UKTi North West Regional Director, visited the company and Charlotte White, operations manager for Cartmel Sticky Toffee Puddings, to see the family business, which began in a small kitchen in the back of Cartmel Village Shop.

It was now popularising the traditional British dessert in Belgium, France, Switzerland and Italy.

Before joining the Passport to Export programme, the company had already become one of the premier suppliers of Sticky Toffee Pudding in the UK, employing 35 people and with a turnover approaching £1.2m.

High-profile customers included Harvey Nichols, Selfridges, Fortnum and Mason, Booths and Waitrose.

The company joined Passport to Export in 2005 and with the help of the programme was now well on its way to becoming an international success.

Passport to Export was UKTI's flagship programme for new and inexperienced exporters, reported The Mail. It provided the training, planning and ongoing support a company needed to begin a successful export operation.

Cartmel Sticky Toffee Puddings used the programme to help design a new international internet website compatible with European search engines.

With the help of International Trade Adviser Paul Senior, the firm also set up international bank accounts, created an international price list and made new warehousing and freight arrangements, as well as attending buyers' markets and trade shows, for which Passport funding provided it with an exhibition stand.

Mrs White said: "Passport to Export has been extremely helpful, not only by introducing us to potential new customers and assisting with practical details, but by providing an insight into different cultures and ways of doing business."

Meanwhile, we have consistently reported on other events and organisations in the Cartmel area over the years, including Cartmel Races.