A FAMILY-RUN local café is expanding its product portfolio to meet demand for a ‘free-from’ range of allergen, gluten, and dairy free produce.

Mary Lambert Artisan Bakery, launched in the 1960s, has steadily grown into one of the region’s most upmarket eateries and suppliers of food to local hotels and restaurants across the North East.

The Lamberts not only have a wealth of experience in the service industry but are also trained to a high level in food hygiene and food allergens, making them well aware of the increasing need for products to cater for allergy and Celiac sufferers.

The Mary Lambert team has invested significant time, effort and resources into training staff, raising awareness and perfecting the product range that is now available.

Gluten and dairy-free breads, soups, sweet mince tarts, shortbread, Victoria sponge, Florentine, brownie, and rocky road are among the allergen free creations, a lot of which will also be a mouth-watering prospect for vegans and vegetarians.  

Eric Lambert, who runs the eatery with daughter Phillippa Lambert, said: “Dietary requirements are changing and we are keeping up with what people want, while at the same time creating some niche items for our menu.

“We have spent a lot of time in the kitchen and bakery doing trials creating and perfecting our free-from products, and we’re delighted with the results.

“We have trialled them among our customers – both regular, vegan, vegetarian and allergy sufferers – and the feedback has been fantastic.

“They say they can’t tell the difference between the regular food and the free-from range, and that the products are way better than supermarket versions.

“We’ve had a lot of repeat customers and orders for products across the area.”

He added: “We don’t want to stop here, we want to continually expand the range as our diverse customer base continues to develop.”

The next task for Eric, Phillippa and their 18-strong team – is to come up with a gluten and dairy free cake.

“We are working on it and we won’t rest until it is perfect,” he said.

Mary Lambert also has a range of gluten-free hampers which make ideal gifts, and provides a free delivery courier service if goods totalling over £20 are ordered from their website.

The business was launched almost six decades ago by Eric’s late mum, Mary Lambert, who became well known in the area for her pastries, breads and cakes.  Award-winning high-end fish and chips, high-class illy Italian coffee, beers and wines are also now a firm favourite by diners.