ABBA should re-release “Dancing Queen” and change the lyrics to “The Baking Queens”. It would be a sure-fire Christmas No. 1, boost flapjack sales worldwide and help several worthwhile causes. Including Ukraine.
If you are prepared to indulge in a bit of Flapjackery you can now track flapjacks from west Devon all the way to your front door.
Flapjacks could be the new fudge. According to two syrupy-fingered, flapjack-fuelled ladies from Tavistock who have successfully devoted their working lives to very more-ish and naughty rectangular blocks of rolled oats, butter and Golden Syrup and which should, on no occasion, never ever be called pancakes griddle cakes, hot cakes, flat cakes, oat bar, cereal bar or, as Australians are wont, a slice.
Carol Myott, 60, and Sally Jenkin, 63, have turned a passionate hobby into the country’s first on-line retail luxury flapjack businesses. Their company, “Flapjackery”, has shops in Tavistock, Wells and Minehead.
Sally retired to Devon from Surrey where she ran a printing company to run her own small self-catering holiday business. Sally ran a fudge shop in Tavistock. They began baking flapjacks for their families and friends. Then they started selling them at local shows. They met at the Country Markets in Tavistock, which is the commercial arm of the WI. They went into partnership and their stall sold out on the first day of the four-day Royal Bath and West Show.
“We’re two passionate cooks with a mutual love of flapjacks. But never finding one to love or even like, we decided to make our own and try and raise this much abused food to its rightful status of delicious, sweet snack bursting with flavour and energy.”
Her flapjack partner Sally, adds:
“Both coming from food-loving families we shared a passion for home cooking with quality British ingredients and felt the traditional flapjack was not often the delicious treat we remembered from our mothers’ kitchens. Determined to restore it to its rightful place we use British oats, locally sourced West Country butter and British sugar. They are all gluten free, and there is a range of vegan flapjacks available too. With a minus shelf life of two weeks, they are the perfect gift, as well as a great energy source!”
The Christmas Taster Box contains 16 half pieces with a shelf life of three months and suitable for freezing. Flavours include Festive Praline and Christmas Chocolate.
“Add lots of Devon clotted cream or custard. The Summer Fruits Crumble flapjacks and the chocolate brownie flapjacks are especially good this way. We use Owen’s Devon Roasted Organic Coffee in the Caramel Latte Flapjack. Champagne goes well with flapjacks too.”
Aflapjack is a baked cereal bar similar to a granola and other cereal bars and an alternative to biscuit and cake. Shakespeare mentions flapjack in Pericles, Prince of Tyre (1607). The word is believed to derive from flipping, or “flapping,” the cake on a flat griddle.
Flapjackery supports local fundraising causes such as the Tavistock branch of the Dartmoor Search and Rescue Team, RNLI Minehead and Wells Cathedral. The shops donate £1.50 of each box specific to the town to the nominated charity, and 20p every time someone opts not to take their flapjacks away in a recyclable box. In 2021 that equated to 11,124 boxes not going into landfill or being recycled.
“Tavistock is on the edge of Dartmoor which is hugely popular, both with locals and visitors. But Dartmoor can be a treacherous place. One minute you can be enjoying glorious sunshine, the next you can be shrouded in thick fog. And it’s a place where accidents can easily happen, even if you’re just enjoying a pleasant stroll. The DSRT is an important charity as it provides support for the emergency services if someone becomes lost or is injured, often rescuing people in remote places, and it is entirely self-funded.”
The Canon Chancellor of Wells Cathedral, the Revd. Canon Dr. Rob James said:
“This is wonderful to receive this donation and we’re very grateful to Flapjackery and to everyone who has bought flapjacks and supported Wells Cathedral.”
The company has also created two special flapjacks – half pieces of ‘millionaire’ flapjack that have been topped with yellow and blue chocolate and packaged together to create the Ukranian flag. Every single penny from each flapjack sold – £4.20 – will be donated to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Ukrainian Humanitarian Appeal.
“It beggars belief the horrors that the people in Ukraine are experiencing. We just cannot imagine the absolute terror they are facing, and not only that, but they are also having to leave everything they know behind for such an uncertain future. This is just a little something that Flapjackery can do to help with the fund-raising.”
Donations will go to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Ukrainian Humanitarian Appeal, which is bringing together 13 leading UK aid charities, including the Red Cross, Save the Children and ActionAid UK.
Festive hampers and advent calendars are now available from www.flapjackery.co.uk. Flapjackery is doing a roaring business. The flapjacks are selling like… flapjacks. But the ladies won’t talk about turnovers.
Kevin Pilley is a former professional cricketer and chief staff writer of PUNCH magazine. His humour, travel, food and drink work appears worldwide and he has been published in over 800 titles.
Photographs courtesy of Flapjackery