says David Hamer of Cark-in-Cartmel based, digital marketing company Make us Visible.
“The Cartmel peninsula is largely thought of as something of a ‘small, quiet, picturesque, and rural area ’ and this would not be far wrong. However, our local businesses are far from quiet and continue to put Cartmel and the surrounding area on the map with their success and popularity. Whilst sat in our office in the heart of the peninsula, we thought this would be the perfect opportunity to highlight our pride in the variety of business success in our area.”
Overlooked by the majestic 12th century priory, the heart of the village centre boasts an array of authentic restaurants and fine food experiences. It is fair to say that Cartmel is world famous for its food culture.
Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding Company
Originally founded by husband and wife team, Howard and Jean Johns and now with son, Simon at the helm, the Cartmel Sticky Toffee brand is synonymous with the village. Have you ever been tempted by sticky toffee pudding on a dessert menu? if so Make us Visible say “There is a very high chance that it was handmade and produced by our local neighbours at Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding. Over 25 years ago, from their small family-owned shop in the centre of Cartmel village, their first sticky toffee pudding was born and they could never have predicted the national and in many cases international acclaim their products would receive. Their famous business in the village centre still continues to produce and sell their amazing range of handmade desserts and puddings, but, with increasing demand and popularity they can also be found in many specialist food retailers across the country as well as in big name stores including Harvey Nichols, Waitrose and Selfridges. Cartmel really is the home of sticky toffee pudding.”
Another great example of a young, developing and ambitious family business with several members of the Unsworth family involved in the day to day running of the company. “A stroll down the road lies Unsworth’s Yard, a small hub that is home to a selection of local fine food and drink producers and retailers. The busy ‘open-door’ micro-brewery located on the site and run by Peter Unsworth is a popular attraction and invites visitors to follow the beer making process right through to tasting with a selection of beers and ales available in the adjoining shop. If wine is more your taste, the site is also home to Cartmel Drinkshop & Wine Snug, run by David Unsworth (brother to Peter) and his wife Kelly. Offering expert knowledge and a unique ‘try before you buy’ experience, the shop specialises in the finest wines and liquors from around the world. A drinks menu can also be enjoyed in the Wine Snug and courtyard. If that’s not enough, the site is also the location of Cartmel Cheeses & Bakery. Offering their own expert advice and unique tasting service, the artisan cheese shop predominantly sells British & Irish farmhouse cheeses. The accompanying in-house bakery produces and sells freshly made bread and pies, chutneys, jams, biscuits and cakes. You are unlikely to leave empty handed and you will certainly learn a thing or two about beer, wine and cheese.”
“Still not convinced that Cartmel boasts a famous foodie culture? What if we told you that also situated in the heart of the village centre was a 2 Michelin star restaurant? L’enclume has received an unprecedented amount of critical appraise, being rated Cumbria’s top restaurant for four consecutive years. With produce supplied from the local countryside, and organic vegetables, herbs and fruits grown on owner Simon Rogan’s twelve-acre farm, the hugely successful and highly regarded restaurant offers a delightful dining experience with season-changing menus all year round. To receive the full Cumbrian and Cartmel countryside experience, L’enclume also offers an exclusive range of luxurious rooms in the heart of Cartmel village centre.”
Furness Fish Poultry & Game Supplies
A family business started by Les Salisbury who had been fishing for shrimps since he was a lad, going out on the horse and cart. His niece Clare Worrall worked for Les for many years, and bought the business from Les when he retired around 10 years ago. “Outside of Cartmel village centre, the success of food businesses continues within the peninsula. In the nearby town of Flookburgh, Furness Fish Poultry & Game Supplies continue to supply their local produce all over the UK. At the root of their business is local fishing heritage, particularly shrimp fishing. Over the years their ‘Morecambe Bay Potted Shrimp’ has become an ever popular delicacy with demand continuing to grow. Their sister company Fish Fanatics is one of the UK’s favourite home delivery fishmongers, sourcing and supplying a wide range of sustainable frozen fish across the UK. The freshness, quality and reliability of their frozen fish products makes them an increasingly popular and trusted brand, with TV chefs such as Simon Rimmer using their products.”
The success of businesses within the peninsula goes way beyond the food market with the fame and popularity of other local companies adding to the business success in the area.
Arguably the most significant of these, is Cartmel Racecourse, one of the most picturesque horse racing venues in the country. With a long tradition of horse racing dating as far back as the 12th century, the ever popular racecourse now hosts 9 entertainment-filled race fixtures between May and August each year. The Racecourse belongs to the family-owned Holker Group of companies which operates a number of other businesses in the area including the nearby historic Holker Hall. The Cavendish family (currently Lucy Cavendish along with her husband Tor McLaren) still reside in the property, which has never been bought or sold, but passed down through the generations by inheritance.
“The Racecourse attracts huge crowds from far and wide, the combination of popularity and tradition sees the success of the racecourse continue to flourish; the famous Cartmel races truly is one of Cumbria’s ‘go-to’ events of the year. As well as horse racing, the incredibly idyllic venue is also home to a large variety of social and corporate events each year, including music concerts and awards ceremonies. Recent years have seen the racecourse showcase very well supported headline performances from the likes of Boyzone and Sir Tom Jones.”
The Rusland Movement
“Ever wanted to commission your own piece of Lake District inspired furniture? Well, alongside its famous fine food suppliers, Cartmel is also home to the successful fine furniture manufacturers, The Rusland Movement. From a once small workshop and team of just two cabinet makers, the Rusland Movement have grown into the popular high class fine furniture designers and creators we see today. Demonstrating expert craftspeople who work to traditional cabinet-making skills, alongside using the local Lake District heritage as inspiration, the Rusland Movement are dedicated to creating and producing your own commissioned, exceptionally exquisite heirlooms of the future.”
“Neighbours to Furness Fish in Flookburgh, Pintail Candles are producers of a fine range of candles, fragrances and candle accessories. With a commitment and desire to challenge the big name candle producers, the small family-run Pintail Candles soon established itself as one of the premium candle makers in the UK. Pintail became one of the first manufacturers to produce candle tins, a popular product that their name continues to be associated with. With an expert local team, every candle is hand-poured in their Flookburgh shop and their product range is increasingly popular with both customers and retailers alike.”
“Cartmel itself is home to Cartmel Priory, which dates back to 1190. Surviving the rule of Henry VIII, the Priory not only hosts traditional services, but is also home to one of the UK’s most innovative Virtual Reality experiences, where the user is taken back in time to the dissolution of monasteries, for a fully immersive 360 degree virtual experience.
The Priory also hosts a series of musical events all year round, and plans are afoot for more exciting innovations through 2019.”
“Located near the spectacular Flookburgh Airfield is the nationally and internationally successful slate specialists, UK Slate. Known amongst the global slate world for their quality products and specialist service, they offer a personalised service and supply the very best slate that has been sourced from both local and international quarries. Supplying a large variety of slate depending on individual clients requirements, UK Slate’s products are predominantly used for roofing, flooring and landscaping purposes. If you fancy slate with a more personalised touch however, they also provide a bespoke slateware service, producing slate accessories in the form of signs, work surfaces, fire hearths and dining table placements to your exact requirements. With their global success and customer service quality, their links with quarries and major producers, and their flexible delivery options and vast expert knowledge, UK Slate are leading the way for exporters in the area.”
This is just a handful of businesses located within the Cartmel peninsula, which continue to build on the areas excellence in business success. Notably, many of these businesses are family businesses which having established their roots in the area, are intent on being around for future generations.