Italian biscotti - Made in Middlewich

PUBLISHED: 10:22 06 June 2011 | UPDATED: 19:40 08 October 2017

Italian biscotti - Made in Middlewich (with audio)

Italian biscotti - Made in Middlewich (with audio)

A Middlewich dad is the brickie with the biccies. Emma Mayoh reports PHOTOGRAPHY BY KIRSTY THOMPSON

It’s possibly not the type of bar snack the regulars at The Golden Lion were expecting. But when builder Phil Latham served his home made biscotti at his Middlewich local, it went down better than a bag of peanuts.

Only last June Phil, who is originally from Sandbach, started to make his own Cheshire biscotti after attending an Italian cookery course at The Vegetarian Society in Altrincham. When friends and family kept asking him to make more, he decided to set up his own biscotti business, Pippo Cheshire.

‘I brought a batch home and everyone loved them,’ said Phil. ‘I thought there might be something here. I got to work on trying new recipes and different ingredients and I just loved doing it. People can’t get enough of them.’

Since then, the 41-year-old has been baking dozens of batches to sell at farmers’ markets including those in Altrincham, Tarporley and the Lowes Farm Shop in Byley. They are also stocked in Choc-a-doodle-doo in Sandbach, the Hollies in Great Budworth and Delikatessa in Crewe and Phil is now hoping to supply wholesalers, hotels and restaurants around the county.

The Italian twice baked biscuits are made using eggs from local suppliers Ibbotson’s and stone-ground flour comes from Walk Mill in Stapleford, near Chester. Flavours in the range include classic almond, banana and pecan, chocolate and pistachio and peach and almond.

Phil’s wife Gemma, a designer who works in product development for ski clothing brands, created the packaging and helps him sell at the local markets.

The 29-year-old said when she first met Phil he ‘‘could only manage to cook pasta’’. But when their boys, Barney, now four and Finn, two, were born, Phil wanted to take more responsibility in the kitchen.

‘When the boys were born I realised I had to get better,’ Phil said. ‘It also wasn’t fair for Gemma to be coming in from work and then having to do tea. I absolutely love it, there’s nothing better than spending a day baking. The boys love it too and they are always asking for some biscotti.

‘As long as people still like it and they keep buying it, I’ll be happy. It’s great to have having fun doing what I do and I want to keep it that way.

‘To be able to provide for my family in this way would make me feel very proud. I never expected to be doing anything like this but now I can’t imagine doing anything else. I’m really looking forward to building things up so I can spend less time being a builder and more time baking.’ 

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This recording is courtesy of Sandbach and District Talking Newspaper service

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