From farmers’ market to Fortnum and Mason

mark pennington
mark pennington

Bee keeper Mark Pennington, from Kirby Grindalythe, has gone from selling his produce at local farmers markets to selling at the London store, Fortnum and Mason.

After keeping bees as a hobby for many years Mark decided to expand his hives and to start selling the honey. As his hives are kept on the Yorkshire Wolds he decided to name the business Yorkshire Wolds Bees. However, he realised that he needed other items to sell and looked into making honey related products. His wife, Alison, started to make Honey Tablet which was a success on their market stalls and this prompted Mark to look into further produce he could make. He hit on the idea of making Honey Marmalades and he makes Orange and Honey; Orange, Ginger and Honey; and the award winningLemon and Honey.

In February this year Mark entered one variety of his marmalade into the World Marmalade Awards which this year attracted more than 2000 entries from as far afield as Australia, the Philippines, South Africa, Japan and South Korea. On 1st March it was announced that he had won the Double Gold Award for his Honey and Lemon Marmalade. Mark was amazed that his marmalade had won as he had been reluctant to enter the competition and it was only after family persuasion that he finally agreed to enter the Lemon and Honey Marmalade.

After visiting Dalemain House in Cumbria for the Awards Presentation Mark was invited to sell his marmalade at Fortnum & Mason in London. He attended a Celebration Breakfast at Fortnums, along with his wife Alison and daughters Kathryn and Sarah who also help with the business. As well as enjoying a three course breakfast, all courses being based on the marmalade theme, this also gave them the opportunity to see his Marmalade for sale in the Grocery Department of the Store.

Mark said “This is very exciting for us as a family. To go from selling our products on farmers markets stalls one day to seeing it displayed for sale in Fortnum & Mason the next is absolutely fantastic”.

Having now received a second order in one month it would appear that the Honey & Lemon Marmalade is a popular choice for the shopper in the London store.

Although he is now supplying Fortnum & Mason Mark is continuing to attend the local Farmers Markets in Driffield and Filey and is also attending other events such as Living North at York Racecourse from 28 to 30 March.