Harriet Hastings co-founded Biscuiteers with her husband, Stevie Congdon. They are also co-directors of leading London catering company Lettice and parents to four young Biscuiteers.
‘We came up with the idea for Biscuiteers on a weekend in New York. We were sure that there were lots of people who are as passionate about biscuits as we are and that there was a real opportunity to set up a biscuits gift business online that was completely different from anything else in the market – biscuits that would look as beautiful as they tasted. In fact, biscuits that people would want to talk about.
We started planning Biscuiteers properly in the spring of 2007, testing our biscuit recipes in Stevie’s catering kitchens. From the start we were committed to using the very best natural ingredients to get the flavour we wanted. We then started planning our launch collections, working on our designs and deciding on the big occasions. We wanted the biscuits to be beautiful and witty. We called them ‘collections’ because we knew we wanted to launch them seasonally like fashion collections and to keep refreshing and developing the range. It was important that we found our own style- distinctive designs that would make our biscuits instantly recognisable.
Biscuiteers launched online in September 2007 with our mission statement ‘why send flowers when you can send biscuits instead?’ The media seemed to get it immediately and were very taken with our launch fashion collections, which remain some of our bestselling lines. Suddenly we had orders, and lots of them! It became apparent that we couldnt continue to camp in Stevie’s catering kitchens and office. We moved into our first proper bakery in November 2007.
The business has grown enormously but we still make and ice our biscuits in exactly the same way. They are all handmade and part of the excitement has been building a business based on old fashioned non-industrialised techniques. Many of our icers are artists and enjoy creating new designs and perfecting existing ones as much as we do. Every single biscuit is lovingly made from the start to finish and each one is therefore totally individual.
One of the real joys of iced biscuits is their incredible flexibility. Our experienced icers do some wonderful work copying logos, fashion designs and all sorts of products. We have had some exciting commissions, including a collaboration with Anya Hindmarch to create a tin of her handbags and a circus tin exclusively for the Conran Shop. We designed a limited edition tin to celebrate Selfridges’ 100th birthday and bespoke biscuits for the launch of Harvey Nichols 4th floor. We have created bespoke designs for outstanding brands such as Mulberry, Boden, Swatch, and Burberry among many others.
Our biscuits are also used for press launches, iced place names and biscuit card invitations or party bags. In fact we do a lot of bespoke work for private parties, weddings, christenings, baby showers and birthday parties. For us there is nothing more rewarding than creating a tin for a friend’s birthday with all their special things!
In 2010 we published our first book ‘The Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits‘ to much acclaim. It has since been translated into a number of languages and introduced the brand to a worldwide audience.
You will also find Biscuiteers in Selfridges, Fortnum & Mason, Harrods, The Conran Shop, as well as Colette and le Grand Epicerie in Paris.
In October 2012 we opened the doors to our very first Biscuit Boutique & Icing Cafe in Notting Hill. Showcasing the much-loved Biscuiteers biscuit, chocolate and cake collections, the Boutique also has a drop-in icing cafe were we host themed icing lessons, children’s icing parties and is the home of the Biscuiteers School of Icing where you can be taught by expert icers to ice like a Biscuiteer.
I hope you enjoy looking at our website and will want to become a Biscuiteer!’
Telephone: +44 (0) 8704 588 358
194 Kensington Park Road