'Prickly Introduction' A Sell Out For Stacey'sPublished On Saturday 24 Nov 2018 by Sticky Beak
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Quirky hedgehog gingerbread biscuits have flown off the shelves of a popular Ilkeston bakery - just a few days after being launched.
Stacey’s Bakery, which has been prominent in the Derbyshire town for four generations, trialled selling the prickly new characters from Tuesday, November 9 - along with a new llama shape adding to the collection.
But by Friday morning, the firm - which has branches in Ilkeston’s South Street and Bath Street, as well as Eastwood and Heanor - had sold out of the new additions.
The cute animal shapes were introduced alongside Stacey’s popular gingerbread men - of which more than 100,000 were sold in one year - and their gingerbread ducks, with 2,000 of the birds flying out of the door each month.
Staff at the Bath Street shop said the hedgehog had slightly edged it over the llama in terms of sales.
Shop assistant Linda Males, who has worked at Stacey’s for eight years, said: “The hedgehog has been really popular - they went straight away. Hedgehogs are cute and I think people liked the look of these biscuits. And at 69p, they are very good value. The hedgehog has more chocolate on it, too.”
Linda added that the shapes are made by hand using individual cutter shapes at their premises in South Street.
Her colleague, Sammy Staveley, said other quirky gingerbread shapes Stacey’s create include hearts for Valentine’s Day, snowmen, reindeer, stars and Christmas trees in the festive season and pumpkins for Halloween.
“Gingerbread is definitely popular - we sell no end”, added Sammy, who has worked at the shop for two years.
“It’s one of our best-sellers - even adults buy them as it takes them back to childhood.”
Linda said she thinks the appeal of an independent bakery like Stacey's over supermarkets is that their product just tastes better - ‘Our gingerbread is lovely and soft and has a great flavour. When you buy it from a big supermarket it's usually hard and doesn't taste great.’
Sammy added: “People come here purposely because our products are more handmade than the ones you get from supermarkets, where they are just mass-produced, and we decorate them by hand too.”
David Stacey, managing director of the bakery, said: ‘’We decided on the new gingerbread characters to give customers more choice, and we thought that - as well as being cute - llamas and hedgehogs are a nice recognisable shape when cut out.
“The hedgehogs are partly dipped in milk chocolate, and the llamas are dipped in white chocolate to make them look a bit different, and more llama-like.’’
He added: ‘“We have been baking gingerbread men since my grandad was running the business, we still make them to the same recipe too, although in those days they were rolled and stamped by hand and were often a bit more rustic in appearance with the odd broken arm or leg.’’