Supplier Spotlight: Meet the female entrepreneurs tempting our tastebuds

In honour of International Women’s Day on 6th March 2022, here at Thackray Brown we are celebrating some of our successful female producers who have helped bring our Mother’s Day Hampers to life. 

Meet Rachel Hanretty from Mademoiselle Macaron, Sarah Pettegree from Bray’s Cottage Pork Pies and Lou Cox from B is for Brownie.

Introducing: Rachel, Chief Mademoiselle from Mademoiselle Macaron based in Edinburgh

Delectable dish: Delicate macarons, handmade with the freshest ingredients inspired by the patisseries of Paris  

Enjoy in: The Grace 

How did your business start? After training at the Alain Ducasse cookery school in Paris and falling in love with the macaron as a culinary creation, I wanted to bring my passion back to the UK. I set up Mademoiselle Macaron as a market stall come wind, rain or shine with my freshly baked goods from home. Within a year I’d opened a shop and the rest as they say is history. We’ve now grown to the point of making tens of thousands of our handmade macarons a week. 

Inspiring female figure: My grandmother was one of the few women who went to university over 70 years ago in a male dominated field. She managed to raise five children all while working as a teacher. Having that confidence and ability to juggle it all is inspirational at a time when women were sidelined into domestic, stay at home roles. 

Introducing: Sarah Pettegree from Bray’s Cottage Pork Pies based in Norfolk

Delectable dish: The traditional Pork Pie with a modern twist, made with lovingly reared Norfolk pigs with a secret recipe of herbs and spices 

Enjoy in: The Grace

How did your business start? After moving to Norfolk 20 years ago I discovered there was a niche for pork pies which were a step away from the norm and had a modern, celebratory and interesting vibe. I love food and flavour, so I started from scratch, learning about hot water crust pastry and experimenting with seasonings and flavours and created the truly delicious and interesting pork pie that I wanted to eat. 

Inspiring female figure: So many! But strange opportunities come about because of the pies and one of them was having dinner with Margaret Atwood. She is everything you would want an inspirational woman to be. Funny, easy to be with, incredibly bright and clear sighted and calm about the big and small things.


Introducing: Lou Cox from B is for Brownie based in Lincolnshire

Delectable dish: Luxury grown-up brownies baked using uniquely flavourful single-origin Madagascan chocolate from the Sambirano forests and Colombian chocolate from Tumaco.

Enjoy in: The Rose

How did your business start? I have a love of food and have worked in the food industry for nearly 25 years, including as part of the development team at Hotel Chocolat. With chocolate as my inspiration, I started my business developing luxury brownies using only high quality single origin chocolate which is unique to the market. Now I make all my brownies from scratch myself. I bake, cut, wrap and pack every single order. I even take them to my local post office. The chocolate of course is very special and distinctive in flavour and I don’t scrimp. My brownies are not for the faint hearted!

Inspiring female figure: Perhaps not an obvious choice, but Agatha Christie. I think she was a tough cookie. She married young, divorced then travelled as a lone woman. She was a prolific writer and supported herself financially and I adore her books!