Television’s Great British Bake Off has sparked a nationwide baking bug.
And while celebrity cooks Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood got the nation baking one Hampshire mum is making it big business Romsey and Southampton North MP Caroline Nokes has opened the Little Bee Bakery’s new premises on the outskirts of the Hampshire town.
Melissa O’Dwyer is behind the bakery on the Abbey Park Industrial Estate. She has moved the business from her Rownhams home kitchen to the Luzborough site in response to growing demand.
Five years ago Melissa started her own bakery as a hobby and at its new premises she now employs three members of staff to help with baking which includes making cakes, biscuits and whoopee pies.
All the ingredients are natural and obtained from Hampshire producers and many of the goodies are tailor-made for people with gluten and dairy product intolerances.
Entrepreneur Melissa said: “I’ve always been a keen cook and when my son was born five years ago I began to bake my own cakes.
“The baking bug bit and when he started school I gave up my full-time job in sales to concentrate on building Little Bee Bakery into a successful local business.
“I’ve had fantastic support along the way from organisations such as Hampshire Fare, and I’m really looking forward to the bakery continuing to be a hive of activity in 2014 and beyond.”
After opening the unit, Ms Nokes said: “I shouldn’t admit to being a bit of a biscuit addict, but Melissa’s really are the best.
“Little Bee Bakery is a brilliant example of a local business that has gone from strength to strength, and Melissa is an inspiration of what can be achieved with some determination, talent and a lot of hard work.”