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Celebrating Women in Business In The New Forest

Happy International Women’s Day. As a female business owner I have to say working in The New Forest is incredibly inclusive from my experience and the vast majority of the people I work with are also fellow female business owners which is amazing. The support amongst our small community is far from anything I would have ever imagined when starting The Forest Foodie.

Zero barriers for us ladies, we all have the same goals and we all support each other.

Here are a few of the wonderful women who support us here at The Forest Foodie; starting top left, and working right:

- Amanda from Brook Hill Vineyard - one of the first suppliers we ever met when starting the business. Amanda runs the most incredible small vineyard in Bramshaw, in the North of The New Forest, creating award winning wines. We can often be found taste testing, bottling and pretending we know lots about wine with them!

- Robyn at Forest Edge Roasting Company - Robyn has an incredible work ethic and is all about sustainability. Not only does she roast the most delicious coffee, she has also recently opened a coffee shop in Lyndhurst - do pop in and say hi!

- Shin - my amazing Mother (Happy Birthday for today also!) - a constant support and also an absolute machine in the kitchen. She will drop everything to come and help.

- Grace at Lightfoots farm - what a fab business - growing super nutritious micro herbs at their small holding just up the road from us. A huge education for me - and very few of our products would go without these delicious greens or edible flowers. She has also launched a stunning glamping spot in their field.

- Kerry from Chocolate By Miss Witt - who produces award winning chocolate. She is so talented and judges world class chocolate events too. A fountain of knowledge and incredible at hosting master classes and kid's parties too.

- Rachel from New Forest Escapes - the green queen, a big inspiration to us and a huge help on our journey to also become a B-Corp certified business like them. We team up to offer guests the very best of sustainably sourced local New Forest produce.

- My amazing team - Emma & Krissie. They cope with sub zero winter frosts in the kitchen and Sahara desert style temps in the Summer in between sea swims. They are the backbone to the business and are brilliant fun to work with.

- Jenny from Burley Fudge Shop - Jenny runs her family run fudge shop which genuinely produces the best fudge you will ever taste.

- Jayne from New Forest Cottages - along with her team have a huge selection of New Forest cottages all across the Forest, we love working with these guys to bring a taste of The New Forest to their guests.

- Katie from Katie Bakes - we met via another female led org Hampshire Fare and adored her brownie making kits, gin cookie sets and lots more which make wonderful gifts.

- Kate from The Isle of Wight Biscuit Company - the joy when finally speaking with Kate having discovered such an awesome local biscuit supplier to compliment the array of local cheese we sell.

- Jen from NAKED JAM - a constant support to me, a fountain of knowledge and drive. Jen has worked through the night for us to fulfil last minute big orders. She forages, teaches, inspires and lends her time generously. She is extremely modest but makes some of the best jam in the world - supplying to some of the top restaurants in London and locally. We are lucky to be working with her.

- Kay my wonderful business mentor Scrunch - who has been a constant rock throughout the journey of launching The Forest Foodie. Having started multiple hugely successful businesses over the years so has such a broad range of advice and ideas she is so kindly happy to share with me, but also not afraid to challenge my ideas if they are not so good.

- Debra at The Hampshire Soap Company LTD - we started working with Debra just before Christmas, inspired by her family run, small business which uses really lovely ingredients, wrapped in eco friendly packaging, a big tick for us.

- Heather at The Solent Cellar - there's very little Heather doesn't know about wine, it's always a joy to shop here. I love her honest advice. If you haven't been - head to their stunning shop opposite M&S on Lymington High Street. They host cracking events, tastings and have a secret garden out the back for sipping rose in the Summer...

- Bronya from bronze design limited - having met Bronya through New Forest Business Partnership events she has been amazing at helping to redesign our website which we are super excited to share with you in the coming weeks.

- Bobs at The Tinkers Granddaughter - a very inspirational business woman, so supportive and happy to share ideas over a glass of wine (the best way!) - she has built up an absolutely smashing business with her Vegan café on Lymington High Street.

- Debbie at New Forest Aromatics - we were eying up these stunning products for a little while and knew that we had to be working with Debbie. Many many years working as an aromatherapist she launched New Forest Aromatics - based behind Setley Ridge Vineyard and creates divine products using as many local products as possible from Hampshire lavender to New Forest Spring Water.

- Ericka From Salt To Smoke has always been a huge support to our business. Ericka has grown her butchery & charcuterie business into a really impressive position - supplying her products to the likes of the Pig & The Gun Inn, Keyhaven. We put the world to rights over dog walks, coffee or at each other's units sharing ideas, helping with challenges and it's a pleasure to work together. Our incredible charcuterie comes from Ericka - made from Pannage pork - cured in Himalayan salt chambers over many, many months. A must try if you haven't yet.

- Jane at New Forest Escapes the wonderful backbone and leader of this impressive B-Corp certified high end holiday home company, and super supportive and great fun too. We work to brainstorm how we can better support each other, how to reward repeat guests and to increase awareness about supporting local businesses.

- Sarah at The Commoners Larder - we met while working with Go New Forest during the pandemic, at her farm in Cadnam. I was so inspired by Sarah's knowledge and passion for the New Forest, and I learnt so much in the few hours we spent together about commoning, I knew we had to work together so I could help to tell their story further. She has a fantastic business where they are so generous with their time on educating the young farmers, locals, schools and fellow businesses about The New Forest. We buy beef, lamb and pork from them.

Huge thanks to these awesome ladies for being you, and for teaming up with us.
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