In this blog, we are shining the spotlight on some of our favourite sustainable brands from the world of pet care and beyond, celebrating those who share our vision of a world with less waste, and more wonder.
With Black Friday around the corner, this is a great opportunity to #Paws4Thought and encourage conscious consumption, supporting waste reducing and sustainable businesses.
Small Town Brownies is the brainchild of Steffi Dry, who turned lockdown redundancy into deliverable deliciousness in the form of her marvellous baked creations.
We caught up with Steffi to find out a bit more about Small Town Brownies...
Tell us who you are and what you do
Hello! I’m Steffi and I bake indulgent brownies and blondies that are then packaged into letterbox friendly gift boxes to be delivered around the UK.
How did you get started?
The classic 2020 fairytale - girl goes into lockdown, girl gets made redundant, girl has to find another way to make a living, girl discovers she’s not half bad at making brownies, the end.
Hopefully it has a happy ending!
In all seriousness, me and my husband, Adam, came up with the idea on the 3-hour drive back from the Cotswolds in October this year.
It was then a crazy month as we set up the business (me recipe testing/branding/ordering packaging, Adam building the website) and we launched in mid November.
I’ve always loved baking and cooking, and with my marketing background, and Adam’s IT knowledge, it seemed like we had a decent skill set to give it a shot.
Where are you based?
I bake everything from our kitchen at home in Manningtree, Essex.
The location is actually where the name Small Town Brownies derives - Manningtree is one of the smallest towns in England.
Do you have any pets?
We don’t per se but we do have a couple of family dogs - my parents’ dog Wilf, a black lab, and my sister has just got a red fox lab called Ralph who is the cutest little thing.
How do you go about sourcing your ingredients and products?
It’s very important to me that we use the finest ingredients possible for our products as they directly influence the taste and the quality of the brownies.
It’s also important that our ingredients are local as much as possible as I’m very keen to shop and support local businesses.
All our eggs are free range and from the local area. When they are in season, I will also source the raspberries we use in our blondies from a local grower. Our chocolate is from Belgium though, as they really do know how to do the best chocolate.
In terms of our packaging, I spent a lot of time researching and sourcing products that are sustainable and am proud that all of our gift packaging, even the plastic mailer bag, is fully recyclable.
Which is your favourite product?
It’s between the Bakewell blondie and the peanut butter brownie (below) - I could happily eat either of them, or both, for breakfast!
What is your top tip to be more sustainable?
I think it can be really easy to feel overwhelmed by the thought of trying to be sustainable and generally kinder to the environment, especially with all the heavy news of climate change and David Attenborough’s stark documentaries, but the little things can make a big difference and are super easy to work into everyday life.
This might sound very basic but always keeping a reusable bag or two in my handbag or car for when I go shopping has really reduced the number of plastic bags we now have in our once-overflowing utility cupboard.
I also try to buy fruit and veg from the weekly local market as much as possible, or at least choose the fruit/veg from the shop that isn’t wrapped in plastic.
Lastly, I’ve really been trying to cut down on our household meat intake where possible (my husband will never be fully converted, caveman that he is), by having meat-free lunches and a couple of veggie dinners during the week.
What does the future hold for Small Town Brownies?
Hopefully that we get a name for ourselves for our great quality, flavourful and reasonably priced brownies and blondies.
It would be the dream to get so busy with orders that we’d need to move the kitchen to a bigger premises and hire staff!
I would also love to expand into selling to local wholesale - farm shops, cafes etc.
Where can we see your products?
You can find them on our website - www.smalltownbrownies.com
Where can we follow you?
Who is your favourite independent sustainable business?
I’m a bit obsessed with Pip and Nut peanut butter (we use their crunchy one in our brownies), it’s so good!
I also love the little independent businesses we have on our doorstep in Manningtree - The Wholefood Store sells really lovely local produce and has a refill station for hand wash, shampoo and lots of other great products.
Then there’s Estuary wine bar which is a gorgeous cosy bar that stocks local gins, wine and beer. Whenever we get a rare childfree/lockdown-free evening, it’s our favourite place to go for a cocktail.
26/11/2020 by NatuTeam