Yes that’s right folks, you can win one of four boxes of Nood’s cupcakes and cookies which will then be delivered to your home in Oxfordshire.
And having done a test run, we can vouch for the standard, taste and finish of Nood’s amazing offering.
So who and what is Nood? Set up by Heather Candlish who works as a pastry chef at Le Manoir, and chef Jack Thomson Anderson, the couple set up their new business seven months ago to cater for events.
we are big Nood fans because this calibre of patisseries and cakes is hard to find
Since the lockdown however, they have had to diversify into delivering their incredible wares to people’s homes which has really taken off.
Nood’s cupcakes are delicious, although the term cupcake does them a disservice, so perfectly crafted, flavoured, decorated and balanced.
But it was the cookies that had me at hello. I’ve eaten many in my time, but Nood’s won hands down.
It was something about the buttery, soft, unctuous texture, the chunks of chocolate, the soft chewiness, the salty sweet combination that completely had me, both in the milk and dark chocolate versions.
So yes, we are big Nood fans, because this calibre of patisseries and cakes is hard to find.
“The delivery side is going really well,” Jack agrees, “and we supply shops and delis such as The Jericho Cafe.”
So are they confident about the future? “We had several weddings lined up for this season which of course have now been cancelled,” Jack says. “Things were going really well. We’d done a few big events and had several more booked. But then it all stopped of course when the lockdown happened so now we’ve changed the business model to deliver to a whole new clientele.
It’s hardly surprising. The cakes and cookies produced in their home kitchen are absolutely exceptional, and with Heather’s Le Manoir credentials this shouldn’t be a surprise.
She has been a pastry chef at Raymond Blanc’s two Michelin starred restaurant in Oxfordshire’s Great Milton for a year now, and loves her job there.
Hailing from Cowley, Heather has always loved making cakes and pastries. She trained at OCVC in Oxford and then went onto work at Oxford Fine Dining, where she met Jack. Jobs at The Star in Wantage, and The Feathered Nest in Nether Westcote followed, then turning down a job at The Ritz in favour of Le Manoir.
So what’s it like working at Le Manoir? “It’s really hard work obviously but they really look after you there and make sure you get settled in properly. They make me feel welcome and comfortable so I’m really happy there,” she says, “it’s what I’ve always wanted to do “
When Heather’s not at Le Manoir, she’s making cakes for Nood, buttercream being her speciality.
“It works out really well actually because I’m always in the kitchen making something sweet whether I’m at work or home,” she laughs. “And I love making creations for other people to enjoy.
As for Jack, he was originally a butcher, working in The Covered Market at Fellers and Lindsay’s before moving to Browns Restaurant, Cherwell Boathouse, Clanfield Tavern, and then specialising in events with companies such as Oxford Fine Dining and Elite Catering.
Of course since the lockdown the couple have had to change their way of working, but like everyone else those most likely to be standing when all this is over are the businesses who adapt.
So what of the future? With their website about to launched and delivery orders coming in thick and fast, there are exciting times ahead for Nood.
“We have had so much support from people locally it’s been really touching,” Heather says.
To win one of four boxes of Nood’s cupcakes and cookies just share the relevant social media posts. Entrants must live in Oxfordshire. The competition ends on Sunday May 31 and winners will be contacted individually. For full T&Cs go to https://www.oxinabox.co.uk/ox-in-a-box-competition-terms-and-conditions/