Taste for Homemade Success
Ask Nigel Cope, our founder, what makes Cottage Delight so unique and he is unlikely to mention the 111 Great Taste Awards, the 179 new lines added this year or the open copper pans that are used to make the award winning Strawberry Extra Jam.
Instead he will state with great passion about the company’s dedication to delivering customers the finest quality products via independent retailers. He will enthuse about using the finest ingredients possible and continuing to produce in small batches to maintain the quality and taste. Nigel will emphasise the importance of the people behind the brand and their loyalty to the company. The Cottage Delight brand encompasses all these things but started with a simple idea to offer great tasting products for independent retailers.
From Humble Beginnings
The Cottage Delight story had a somewhat modest start. In 1974 Nigel Cope was working in the retail industry for a multi national company and had a young family to raise and support. Having worked in what he felt was a large impersonal organisation; Nigel wanted a change for both himself and his family.
An opportunity presented itself when Nigel obtained a recipe for traditional melt in the mouth butter fudge. He set about turning his home kitchen into a part time business making and selling his fudge to local independent stores across Staffordshire and Derbyshire.
Ingredients are Key
With an emphasis on producing a quality product Nigel was adamant that through Cottage Delight he could provide an inspirational alternative to the produce available on supermarket shelves which he felt was limited in terms of choice and taste. By developing strong ties with independent retailers Cottage Delight quickly grew to enable Nigel to work in the business full time and hire his first employee to help with deliveries.
Nigel worked with a local jam maker to produce the first jarred Cottage Delight products which included a range of jams and chutneys. As the business began to grow Nigel was keen to remain focused on the quality of his product and wanted to ensure that he was able to retain the home made taste and look to his products. His wife Diana hand drew the first Cottage Delight logo, a version of which is still used today, and they created a strong and unique look for the brand.
A Recipe for the Future
Still committed to supporting the independent retail trade, Cottage Delight is not and will never be a supermarket brand. Today Cottage Delight works with similar like minded artisan partners. Using the finest ingredients, the products continue to be produced in small batches using traditional recipes. Over the years, we have sourced many more products, only from artisan manufacturers who share our passion for quality.
There have been many landmark events along the way including appearing on the shelves of Harrods, the first Gold Taste Award for Cottage Delight’s strawberry extra jam and moving to larger manufacturing premises in Leekbrook to cope with the continuing growth of the business. Today 36 years on we export to 37 countries including France Spain, Denmark, Russia and USA.
The people and the products continue to be at the heart of Cottage Delight’s business.
“To be known for supporting the independent trade with premium products and remaining committed to our ethos of better tasting food created to homemade recipes would be the greatest legacy I could leave.”