Rishi Sunak has congratulated a Dales jam maker on her appearance on the TV show Dragons’ Den.
Rachel Kettlewell’s pitch of her business – Fearne and Rosie – to the famous Dragons will be screened tonight.
Mrs Kettlewell started her enterprise three years ago using the names of her two daughters for the range of reduced sugar jams.
The jams are stocked nationally by Waitrose and Ocado and Yorkshire branches of Morrisons also sell the range.
During a visit to Hawes where Fearne and Rosie jams are produced, Mr Sunak toured the production area, saw how the range is produced and helped Mrs Kettlewell and Rosie label a batch of strawberry jam.
Mr Sunak said: “I’m keeping my fingers crossed for Rachel. She has a superb business with a great brand which taps into a number of consumer trends – like the desire to consume less sugary foods, particularly for our children.
“I am sure there is great potential to grow the business further in the Dales and I hope the Dragons see that potential too.”
Mr Sunak heard how Mrs Kettlewell came up with the business idea when she was on maternity leave from her part-time job as a teacher in Richmond with her second daughter Rosie.
She said: “I was aware of the amount of sugar in a traditional jam recipe and experimented to create a healthier jam for my daughters. I found that taking out sugar and adding more fruit worked without the use of artificial sweeteners or concentrates and that’s how Fearne and Rosie as a business was born.”
Mrs Kettlewell, who also has a young son, George, added that the range of jams and spreads she went on to develop use local ingredients where possible.
Her ambitions for the business include launching a schools support programme with high quality downloadable resources for teachers and families to use to help children learn about healthier food choices.
She also wants develop a team to help grow the business in the UK and overseas with the existing range and through new product development.
Fearne and Rosie products are manufactured by Raydale Preserves, the established jams and preserves business founded by her husband’s farming family in Upper Wensleydale 43 years ago.
The growing business moved from the farm to a production unit on the Brunt Acres Industrial Estate in Hawes two years ago.
- Find out how Rachel’s three-minute presentation went down with the five Dragons at 9pm on Thursday, July 1, on BBC 1.