Lucy Batham from Leeds and her sister Jane have set up an online brownie business from home. Catherine Scott meets them.
A wonderful aroma pervades the spotless kitchen where sisters Jane and Lucy Batham are hard at work.
The blonde pair, who many mistake for twins, together make up Tarte & Berry, a fledgling business which is already making a stir in the world of baking – in particular brownies.
Jane, at 30, is the elder sister by five years and the culinary brains behind the business whose online shop went live the week before Christmas.
Lucy, 25, who comes from a PR and marketing background, is also learning how to produce Tarte & Berry’s trademark brownies.
“I am a complete chocoholic. So this is my perfect job. I am chief taster and now Jane is teaching me how to bake the things she cooks,” says Lucy, who studied at Leeds University and liked the city so much she decided to stay.
“I have always loved cooking,” says Jane. “Which is a surprise, really, as our mum was a terrible cook, so I have no idea where I got it from.
“I did a degree in business management and then went to work for Arla dairies in Leeds, which gave me valuable experience in food retail.”
It was during her time there that she noticed an advert for Gordon Ramsay’s Tante Marie Culinary Academy.
Their mother had recently died and left them some money and so she enrolled on the six-month course, where she learned to be a Cordon Bleu chef with a keen interest in pastry and baking.
Jane then went to work in London as head pastry chef in restaurants. She also worked for Bettys as a confectioner, finishing and decorating cakes.