At the table with Biscuiteers founder and CEO, Harriet Hastings


At the table with Biscuiteers founder and CEO, Harriet Hastings

To celebrate the launch of our limited edition collection of letterbox biscuits for Mother's Day, we caught up with Biscuiteers founder and CEO, Harriet Hastings.

Biscuiteers Founder and CEO, Harriet HastingsImage by James Robinson.

Tell us how Biscuiteers began?
We launched Biscuiteers in 2007 as we saw there was a gap in the market for a more personalised gifting solution – an opportunity to create a new sector in the gifting market.  Biscuits offered the perfect blank canvas to create designs for different occasions and also create a branded offer for businesses. My husband has a catering and events company called Lettice and we were able to test out our ideas in the Lettice kitchens. We released our first collections in September in time for the Christmas season.

What achievement are you most proud of?
I am particularly proud that we have built a British manufacturing business which employs 200 people.  All our biscuits are made by hand at the Ministry of Biscuits in Wimbledon. I am also inspired by the fact that we have brought a whole new gifting model into the market and created a unique high-street retail concept with our two icing cafes in Notting Hill and Belgravia.

Tell us about the first products you launched?
Our very first collections were fashion collections of shoes and handbags. This attracted the attention of the fashion and lifestyle media and enabled us to generate a lot of early PR and got us on the radar with fashion brands like Mulberry, Anja Hindmarch, and Burberry who were some of our earliest customers.

What challenges have you faced as the brand has grown and evolved?
The biggest challenge was the investment in our manufacturing base in Wimbledon. We had to invent an entirely new production model to enable us to hand-ice 3 million biscuits a year. Working that out was difficult!

What advice would you give to aspiring female entrepreneurs?
To think not only about your product idea but focus on marketing. One of the toughest challenges is to ensure that customers can find your products. Many great ideas don’t see the light of the day because they are not discoverable.  Marketing is central to all business propositions and entrepreneurs need teams around them that can deliver this.

Quick fire round

  • Tea or coffee? Coffee!
  • Favourite biscuit? Biscuiteers rosemary and parmesan cheese biscuits.
  • Favourite Sophie Allport design? All the dog designs and we love the bees that we used as inspiration for our new Biscuiteers x Sophie Allport biscuit collection.
  • Summer or winter? Summer.
  • Cats or dogs? Dogs.

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