A dedicated biscuit bakery called The Biskery has been opened by two Leeds women.
Saskia Roskam and Lisa Shepherd, formerly known as Bloom Bakers, have rebranded and opened a new bakery in Chapel Allerton, Leeds, following the success of their bespoke biscuit business.
The new site is described as the only biscuit bakery of its kind in the North of England and enables the business to triple production to over 300,000 handmade biscuits a year.
Roskam and Shepherd began producing biscuits from their kitchen table in 2016 with £1,000 of their own money. They say they saw a gap in the market for personalisation and branded biscuits, expanding their product range with each bespoke order.
The pair incorporate recipes from their German and Dutch heritage in their range. Their signature product, an impressed jam biscuit, is based on Shepherd’s grandmother’s recipe, and The Biskery produces Lebkuchen from a traditional recipe with 40% nut content.
The business has made and decorated more than 200,000 biscuits since launch for clients including Fendi, BBC, Meta and Penguin Publishers, with sales rising 200% year-on-year in the past three years.
The growth has enabled investment in technology including an edible ink printer to print branded biscuits for corporate clients and events, while the business had to adapt in the pandemic to build a consumer-facing ecommerce platform to sell bespoke biscuits.
“Our ambition is to become the go-to brand for personalised biscuits in the UK and we are well on the way to this with our new Leeds bakery,” said Shepherd.
As well as the rebrand, the business has expanded its team to nine people who bake, decorate and pack every biscuit by hand.
The Biskery is based on a founding principle of flexible working, with staff having the flexibility to work around childcare commitments and during school hours.
“We are not just a bakery, we don’t just sell biscuits, we spread kindness in biscuit form, whilst enabling working parents to create a life that fits around their children by offering the option to work school hours only,” explained Roskam.
Shepherd added that they hope to inspire other businesses to bring more female values into the workplace: “We believe employees feel more invested in their work if their needs are met. For example, for many mothers this often is flexibility, empathy and understanding.”