Feeding Our Troops with the Best of British

Battenburg, bakes, sponges and slices from Yorkshire’s ProperMaid bakery
have earned their stripes this week as they’ve been chosen as one of the
Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes’ (NAAFI) “best of British” foods to feed
the forces.
Serving soldiers will be offered a much-missed sweet slice of home thanks to
ProperMaid, in Huddersfield, when more than 12 of its delicious,
‘traditional cakes with a twist’ begin winging their way to troops across
the world this month.

It was ProperMaid’s “original flavours” that caught the eye and palate of
the NAAFI taste testers, and its selection – which includes ProperMaid’s
Dandelion & Burdock Cake (inspired by Huddersfield’s most famous export) and
Sticky Ginger & Fudge Cake based on the traditional Yorkshire Parkin – will
certainly give squaddies a taste of ‘God’s Own County’.

NAAFI, the official trading organisation of HM Forces, provides retail and
leisure services to the military with restaurants, bars and shops that offer
a real British experience. ProperMaid’s cakes, which will grace the menu at
NAAFI’s coffee shops, will initially be distributed in Germany and then to
other overseas locations starting with the Falklands.

Nick Spencer, head of food and beverage at NAAFI, said: “We’re all about
providing a taste of home and access to products that servicemen and women
would not necessarily be able to purchase. ProperMaid’s original flavours,
handmade products and the good story behind them really interested us.”

ProperMaid managing director Allison Whitmarsh said she was delighted with
the deal. “We’re over the moon that our cakes have been chosen as a taste of
home for the troops,” said Allison. “It’s wonderful to think that ‘our boys’
– and girls – working hard in other countries will be able to tuck into a
good ol’ British brew and a bake!”

Former dinner lady Allison Whitmarsh saw a gap in the market four years
ago when she took advantage of a Business Mine grant and set up Proper Maid
in Huddersfield, producing handmade, additive-free cakes, loafs and biscuits
with a twist – many of them made with quirky ingredients such as vegetables,
liquorice, Maltesers and homemade jam.

In December, she got a slice of venture capital from BBC Dragon Deborah
Meaden when she invested £50,000 in the business in return for a 25% stake
during the Dragons’ Den Christmas Special.

The full-list of ProperMaid cakes flying out to the armed forces include:
Passion Fruit Cake, Mother’s Day Orange & Almond Battenberg, Fresh Ginger &
Lemon, Dandelion & Burdock (a Great Taste Award winner), Cappuccino &
Walnut, Liquorice Cake, Beetroot & White Chocolate, Courgette & Lime, Sticky
Toffee Tray Bake Cake with Salted Caramel Drizzle, and Sticky Ginger &

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