The Crosby Cake Cupboard

Expanding a farm-based catering business

FiPL funding was used to turn a redundant farm building at Crosbythwaite Farm, Broughton-in-Furness, into an industrial kitchen. As well as work to the building, key pieces of equipment were purchased including an oven, fridge, sink and shelving. It meant more food could be produced to be sold direct to the public from the farm. And a new market developed, selling to visitor attractions, local shops and service stations in the area.

Gillian's main aim was to be able to bake more produce more easily. She wanted to build up an existing business, established in 2019, based in a trailer, with an honesty box for snacks. They found that demand was outstripping supplies.

The Crosby Snack Shed & Cake Cupboard

The Snack Shed opens daily, weather permitting, from Spring until Autumn. They serve a selection of hot and cold sandwiches, beverages, locally made ice cream and freshly baked home-made cakes. The Cake Cupboard is stocked daily from Spring until Autumn, and is open during some winter weekends too.

“The Crosby Snack Shed & Cake Cupboard is vital to the sustainability of the family farm. I saw potential to grow it and to explore business to business demand for local produce."

To increase the capacity of her bakery business, Gillian converted and upgraded an existing storeroom within a farm building. This involved plastering it out and fitting it with catering grade stainless steel shelving, worktops, kitchen equipment and refrigeration.

Bringing visitors, creating new jobs and keeping traditions alive

This project has opened up exciting opportunities whilst maintaining tradition:

  • The business offers flexible, local employment opportunities. Gillian has an extra person helping with a day of baking, and two people work part-time in the snack shed in the summer, supported by two students who also pack cakes.
  • They’re continuing baking traditions and keeping local recipes alive.
  • Now a stopping off point for walkers, exploring the local fells, and motorists, it’s a place where they can see and learn about traditional hill farming first hand. Staff and family will chat to interested visitors about what they’re doing and what’s happening on the farm.
  • They want to continue the tradition of fell farming. Part of the Ulpha fell common, they graze their native breed livestock on the fell, continuing an ancient practice.
  • Their sustainable farming approaches encourage biodiversity.
  • Livestock is sold to other local farmers for breeding, playing an important role in preserving the Herdwick breed on their fell and in the Lake District.

"Funding has brought many benefits. From securing a vital farm income, at a time of great uncertainty over farm payments, to encouraging visitors to dwell and learn a bit about a traditional Lakeland farm. Ultimately, it helps with the health of our local rural community and the future of our fell farm."

“If you’re new to applying for funding, allow plenty of time to complete the application properly. Given the benefits of securing funding, it’s definitely worth it.”

  • A brown shed with a serving hatch. There are cakes on display and bunting across the top, and a board with cakes and prices written on.

  • Woman with hair net baking a cake - she is pouring rasperries into a cake mixture.

  • Person in a red apron placing a label on a box, which has a cookie inside.

  • A Herdwick sheep with its lamb in a green field. There is a fell in the distance, and the sky is grey.

  • View across fields to a farm and farm buildings.