Starting our new interview series, we spoke to Kerrie Walker from a great company called New Found Joy who are making a splash with their range of gluten-free baked goods.
Tell us about New Found Joy
We’re a gluten free artisan bakery based in the heart of Lurgan, Northern Ireland. We have a team of skilled bakers who create high quality, gluten-free traybakes, puddings and scones by hand, using old traditional methods and top quality ingredients.We opened in 2015 after we saw a need for delicious gluten-free bakery goods, from speaking to customers of our main coffee shop – the Cafe Alana.We source locally when we can to get the freshest possible ingredients. We have won various Great Taste, Blas Na h’eireann and Free From Food awards for our Gluten Free Rocky Road, Caramel Square and Chocolate Brownie.We take a lot of pride in our products. Even though they’re gluten free we haven’t had to sacrifice any of the flavour – in taste tastes people tell us they’re just as good as the mainstream versions.
Why gluten free?Gluten free diets are becoming more and more common, as around 1 in 100 people is diagnosed as having Ceoliac disease whilst others feel healthier excluding it from their diet. There’s huge customer demand for gluten-free options in cafes and restaurants. We help businesses offer that choice through our wholesale business. We supply locally as well as Ireland and even the Middle East market.
What types of traybakes do you make?We offer 4 main chocolate varieties including Chocolate Brownie, Caramel Square, Rocky Road and white chocolate Diana Delight. We also provide a selection of gluten free scones suitable for afternoon tea, steamed sticky toffee puddings and a range of biscuits to enjoy with a nice cup of tea.
Why traybakes?Traybakes are a much-loved stable of the coffee shop industry in Northern Ireland. They are also very easy to package in individual portions which is a very important factor to consider when producing gluten-free products. Usually only one member of a family will need to follow a gluten free diet so individual portions can be opened and eaten fresh with little wastage.
Where can we get our hands on some?
Our delicious products are available in coffee shops and farm shops up and down Ireland. If there is a specific place you would like to see our products, get in touch!
Who taught you how to bake?
My mother is a brilliant cook, however she hadn’t delved much into the world of baking. She was very patient when I regularly made a mess of the kitchen – trial and error was largely how I taught myself. My grandfather worked in a bakery and my grandmother would make jam and other treats from scratch. I would regularly give them a call and ask for advice on why my baked treats weren’t turning out just the way I wanted it to. Like a lot of people I watch a lot of baking videos on the internet and watch baking programmes on TV.
What’s your favourite traybake? (feel free to include a short recipe if you like)
Mine would have to be our Gluten-Free Rocky Road. We make our own biscuit chunks with our gluten-free flour and use a combination of different types of Belgian Chocolate, marshmallows and plump sultanas. It gives the Rocky Road a crunchy, yet chewy and soft texture. I would give you the recipe but, its top secret!