Now operating from our new premises!
Four and a half years after founding The Homemade Brownie Company, we’re excited to now be operating from our new home - a spacious catering facility in Basingstoke.
The move has given us an abundance of space - around 2,000 sq ft of it - and after working from our lovely home kitchen up until now, it’s great to have more room to spread out! The new unit was largely a blank canvas, enabling us to design our workspace in the way that best suited us and the needs of our business.
We got the keys to the unit at the end of March and spent four weeks fitting it out and adapting it to the layout we wanted. We started by planning how we would section up the space, then knocked a wall through to create a passageway between the original office and industrial space. We then put up partition walls to create a separate area for the kitchen.
The kitchen was kitted out with commercial ovens, microwaves, fridges, stainless steel preparation surfaces and plenty of storage. The packing area gives us lots of room to get everything ready to go out for delivery once it’s left the kitchen and the storage areas are equipped with floor to ceiling shelving units for keeping things well organised.
We viewed several units before deciding on this one and had to move quickly to secure it due to demand! Its location on Stroudley Road, Basingstoke is ideal; its central position makes it easy for outbound deliveries and it’s well located for many neighbouring towns and cities such as Guildford, Reading, Newbury, Winchester, Southampton and Portsmouth.
The main motivator for the move was the desperate need for more space, but having some separation between home and work is an added bonus.
“It’s great to finally have a dedicated space for the business that isn’t our home! We now have loads of space to work with and we’ve set it up to be as efficient as possible. It’s nice to have our home kitchen back and being able to leave work at the end of the day and drive home makes all the difference to our work/life balance.”
“It was really exciting to kit out the kitchen from scratch, though the new ovens took some getting used to! We had to do quite a few test runs to ensure the batches were coming out just right. We also had to change to larger baking trays and having larger batches had an impact on cooking time, but we soon adjusted to these little differences and it’s all going extremely well.”
The Homemade Brownie Company employs three members of staff; two bakers and a packer. Baker Amanda Lucas has been with the company for six months and was happy to move with us to the new premises - it’s even closer to home for her! To help with the ongoing growth, we’ve also taken on Anita Thornley, who is responsible for wrapping and packaging all the orders, and Connor Knight, another baker.
Connor has joined the team via the Government’s Kickstart Scheme, which provides funding to employers to create jobs for 16-24 year olds who may be at risk of long-term unemployment. This funding lasts for six months and covers wages, National Insurance contributions and provision for set up costs and training.
The scheme made it possible for us to take Connor on now rather than wait until later in the year and by the time the six months’ funding has ended, we hope he’ll be ready to join the team permanently.
We’re now in a position to deal with larger orders that previously we’ve had to turn down, and look forward to expanding our offering with new flavours and products over the coming months. We also hope to resume supplying our brownies to cafes and restaurants, as well as to attend shows and events as COVID restrictions lift and activities resume.
Next month will see The Homemade Brownie Company attend the Blenheim Flower Show at Blenheim Palace from 25-27 June 2021. We will be one of over 190 exhibitors at the show and we look forward to welcoming customers to our stand to sample our wares.