Broughton mother and daughter take the biscuit world by storm

PUBLISHED: 17:29 31 March 2011 | UPDATED: 19:08 20 February 2013

Ann and Rachael McNeela

Ann and Rachael McNeela

Two women from Broughton are producing sweet treats for Mother's Day. Amanda Griffiths reports Photography by John Cocks

Fed up with buying mum boring old flowers on Mothers Day? Has she already got more perfume and bath-time goodies than a beauty salon?

If youre looking for something a bit different to present on the big day, then mother and daughter team Ann and Rachael McNeela could have the answer - a range of homemade novelty shortbread biscuits, delivered straight to mums door.

Whether you choose to spell out your love for her in beautifully designed letters, give her delicately decorated hearts or offer her a bouquet she can eat, theres something for everyone, with the pair happy to work with clients and offer a bespoke product if you cant quite find what youre looking for.

The pair started their business, Bisquites, two years ago, selling on line. It started from Rachaels day job as a food stylist and freelance hair and make-up artist.

I was on a food styling shoot and had made a little row of baby bib biscuits for the background. The photographer suggested they would sell really well in somewhere like Selfridges so I went from there, she says.

I went home and thought something like this would make lovely wedding favours. I do a lot of bridal hair and make up in my business and thought the two would fit together nicely.

I wasnt keen on the cooking side - I prefer the designing and the decorating. I love coming up with ideas for new ranges. I never actually sit down and draw them out, I end up trying designs out on the biscuits and seeing how they work,.

The baking is where mum comes in. Ann has been in the industry since she was 19 and ran a snack shop in Blackpool for three years.
I bake the shortbread from a traditional recipe at home, she says. The kitchen is fully registered to do so.

I think its a great partnership. Im good at what I do and Rachael is good at what she does. I think being in business together in some ways is easier because we can be much more forthright.

In fact its been hard work to get where we are, people love the biscuits, when weve done wedding fairs and given out samples people always say its the best theyve tasted. Its all the other things along the way like marketing and learning about internet search engines that has been difficult. In fact, I think if we werent mother and daughter we might have given up by now.

Thanks to the encouragement of the rest of the family, dad Paul and sisters Anna and Katie, but in particular brother Damian, Rachael and Ann havent given up and are going from strength to strength.

Says Ann: One parent contacted us asking us if we could make elephant footprint biscuits as invites as their child was having a birthday party at the zoo and just before Christmas we were asked to make biscuits for goodie bags at a charity lunch in London.

Rachael adds: It took us three, eight-hour days to make 250 biscuits. Although each batch only takes 15 minutes to bake, the icing has to be done in two stages and needs to set overnight so it doesnt get damaged in the post.

I think thats the only down side of working from home, says Ann, You cant get away from biscuits - theyre everywhere!

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