Alcohol-free export

Cumbrian bakery business Country Fare has worked with scientists at Liverpool’s John Moores University to create a fruit cake for export to the Far East. Their Orange Blossom Honey Cake, which has a shelf-life of 12 months, contains no alcohol, to cater for communities with religious beliefs that ban alcohol, as well as English customers with a preference for a tipple-free luxury.

Telecoms to bakery

Bakery Andante, the brainchild of a former telecoms manager, opened last week in Edinburgh. Jon Wood spent the past 20 years working in marketing and product management, but when faced with redundancy last year, he decided to turn his hobby into a new career as an artisan baker. The bakery features an open bakehouse, so customers can see the goods being produced.

Co-op cares for carers

A donation from the sales of The Co-operative Group’s new Christmas sandwich range will go towards helping young carers in the UK. Ten pence from each of three sandwiches sold Turkey, Stuffing, Bacon & Cranberry, Wiltshire Ham & Braised Red Cabbage, and Christmas Dinner Triple will be donated to online support service YCNet part of The Princess Royal Trust for Carers.

Costa wins crown

Costa Coffee has been crowned winner of the Best Branded Coffee Shop Chain in the UK and Ireland by Allegra Strategies at the European Coffee Shop Awards earlier this month. Jeffrey Young, MD and founder of Allegra Strategies, said Costa had a "clear focus on serving great coffee", backed by strong marketing campaigns.