Sweet taste of success in fruitcakes export deal

Witney Gazette: Joshua Taee outside Huffkins’ shop in Witney with two of the cakes being sent to Canada as part of the company’s first export order. Picture: OX62853  Damian Hal Buy this photo » Joshua Taee outside Huffkins’ shop in Witney with two of the cakes being sent to Canada as part of the company’s first export order. Picture: OX62853 Damian Hal

CAKES from a traditional bakery are taking a journey from the Cotswolds to the shelves of shops in Canada.

Bosses and staff at Huffkins are celebrating after the business landed its first ever export deal.

Now customers at Denninger’s stores around the city of Hamilton in Ontario will be enjoying the bakery’s award-winning Cranberry and Cointreau fruitcake in time for Christmas at the same time as those visiting the stores in Witney and Burford.

The deal came about after Huffkins’ owners, brothers Joshua and Jacob Taee, travelled to a trade fair in Cologne, Germany, as part of a delegation of British businesses led by Environment Secretary Owen Paterson.

Managing Director Joshua Taee said: “We’re a small business and we took our product out there thoroughly expecting to be ignored. But when we got there we were mobbed. It was a complete surprise to walk away with our first export deal.”

Like Huffkins, Denninger’s is a small family-run business, with six shops. The first batch of 600 cakes is now being shipped and will be maturing on their three-week journey, to be in prime condition when they go on sale.

Interest in Huffkins products has also come from potential buyers in Asia as well as across Europe as foreign owners look to tap into demand for traditional British products, with the Cotswolds connection adding particular appeal.

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Mr Taee added: “Our products are handmade and we will never become a mass-market producer. But exporting transforms your thinking and we will see how far we can go.”

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