Spotlight

Fat Lass Preserves

The CraftCover team love getting to know UK crafters, whether they bake cakes and other yummy treats or upcycle household items. To help spread the word about independent craft businesses, we came up with the idea of Crafter in the Spotlight, where we interview all types of crafters.

 

In our most recent interview, we got to speak to the face behind Fat Lass Preserves, Bridget Deane. This is the perfect place to look if you want something a little bit different to spread on your toast or crackers.

Bridget isn’t just the owner of Fat Lass Preserves but she is also “an ex-Bafta winning documentary director, television soap writer and once worked as a human billboard!”

Based in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and currently making all the products from her own kitchen, Bridget now sells her preserves all around the UK. As well as being able to order online, the preserves are also stocked in lots of local shops.

The name Fat Lass Preserves is unique and one we certainly haven’t come across until now. Bridget explained the story behind the name and said: “Well, just in case you’re wondering, as Head Fat Lass, yes I am a big, curvy lady.”

“I named my company Fat Lass Preserves because the word “fat” is often used as a negative, destructive, term, but I believe it’s time to reclaim this negative and turn it into a positive.”

“Like me, super women (and men) come in all shapes and sizes. This is something I am no longer embarrassed about, and much happier and healthier for it.”

We were keen to find out why Bridget decided to start her craft business and she told us that at first, she was made the preserves for just her family and friends and they “kept coming back and wanting more.”

“My first shop Boda Home in Whitley Bay decided they liked the products and still stock Fat Lass preserves… and the rest is history.”

“I wouldn’t say I had a set plan to start a business, it’s just something that evolved naturally.”

If you look on the Fat Lass Preserves website, you will see that the products on offer are nothing like what you can buy in supermarkets. Bridget told us that she makes products that she would like to eat herself.

“I enjoy the creative element of developing new tastes and uses for preserves.  It’s the creative development that excites me, though I still use traditional methods to make my product.”

One of the things that we like about Fat Lass Preserves is that they use high quality ingredients. We asked Bridget why she thinks this is important and she said: “Our mission is to get people enjoying good, quality food.”

“A lot of modern food is full of additives or food substitutes, which I believe has a negative effect on our relationship with food. For example: a product maybe fat free but it’s still got calories.”

“Fat Lass Preserves is about enjoying good food, in proportion and without guilt.”

Fat Lass Preserves make and sell lots of different flavour preserves including cocktails flavours like Gin, Cointreu and Breakfast Martini, which all sound absolutely delicious! Bridget told us that she finds inspiration for flavours “everywhere”.

“I use magazine trends, internet research or from friends. Needless to say, my friends love getting free samples of my cocktail marmalades. Plus, they are a great party gift – but lethal if you have too many cocktails!”

If you are struggling to decide which one to try first, the Tangy Aubergine and Pepper is the top seller from the chutney range. “As soon as customers try it, they are hooked. Just behind this is the Smoked Paprika Onion. Both are vegan as are nearly all my products.”

“Our best-selling product for my sweet tooth customers is the vegan Belgium Dark Chocolate and Pear Jam. And the seasonal summer Strawberry & Lavender Jam is always a sell-out as I only use British strawberries.”

And it would be rude not to try one of the cocktail flavoured chutneys wouldn’t it? Bridget recommends the popular Gin Cocktail Marmalade for anyone wanting the boozy option!

She also has plans to develop new cocktail marmalades and interesting flavoured pickles so keep your eyes peeled in 2019!

When she isn’t busy making preserves and thinking up new flavours, Bridget spends time at her allotment which is “her little paradise” and “a great place to de-stress.”

“I don’t use any of the vegetables that I grow there, as you are not allowed to use produce for commercial purposes, plus I’m really not that good at growing vegetables.”

At CraftCover, we provide cover to a wide range of craft businesses including those that produce and sell their own food like Bridget.

We asked her why this was especially important for what she does, and she said: “Having insurance is vital.”

“I could not operate without insurance as it is a compulsory requirement by all the food fairs that I do. Plus, you know if anything did happen, you are covered.”

And as the interview came to a close, Bridget left us with some final words of wisdom: “May the power of Fat Lass be with you!”