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10th October 2012


Exquisitely Rich Fruit Cake_.jpg

Two Yorkshire-based food and drink producers have received an order for their collaboration ‘beer cake’ from The Plaza hotel in New York.

The Exquisitely Rich Fruit Cake, handmade by Leeds-based Exquisite Handmade Cakes, has as its key ingredient Ilkley Brewery’s award-winning Stout Mary giving it an intensely rich flavour.

Bursting with plump vine fruits and finished with dark Belgian chocolate shavings, the cake has strong fruit flavours and a subtle stout overtone giving it a luxurious dark chocolate toffee background.

Chris Ives from Ilkley Brewery and Viv Parry from Exquisite Handmade Cakes met on the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme, run in partnership with Leeds University Business School, back in 2011. Last year, they joined forces to create this unique beer infused cake and 10 months later, the two businesses have received their first overseas order which will be arriving at the six star Manhattan hotel in time for Christmas.


Interest from the landmark Big Apple hotel came about after Viv visited New York earlier this year as part of a UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) trade mission, supported by Santander Bank. A meeting with The Plaza’s Food Hall, which specialises in European-inspired foods, resulted in a 120 unit order of the Exquisitely Rich Fruit Cake which will soon be enjoyed by The Plaza’s global customer base.


Speaking about this transatlantic order, Chris Ives from Ilkley Brewery, said: “Viv and I saw a fantastic opportunity to collaborate last year and it’s hugely exciting to see the partnership pay off in such a grand way.


“Ilkley beers are gradually gaining international exposure in countries like Sweden and Canada but to have our brand showcased in one of the world’s most prestigious hotels in this famous city, is an incredible coup; one which we’re absolutely thrilled with.”


Viv Parry, owner of Exquisite Handmade Cakes, added: “Traditionally, the fruit in cakes like these is soaked in brandy first but we wanted to do something different by infusing the fruit with Stout Mary. Our experiment paid off and the finished result is a mouth-wateringly indulgent fruit cake topped with the finest Belgian chocolate.


“I’m sure the cake will be a hit with The Plaza’s esteemed clientele both as a delicious accompaniment to The Plaza Food Hall’s beverages or, thanks to its specially made tin, as a Christmas gift.”


The Exquisitely Rich Fruit Cake is the first in a range of luxury tinned fruit cakes to be developed by Exquisite Handmade Cakes, who are currently in the process of developing a gluten-free version along with other exciting flavour profiles.


Ilkley Brewery was recently crowned the winner of the Newspaper Society’s national Local Business Accelerators campaign and is currently being mentored by Dragon’s Den star, Deborah Meaden, to help the business flourish further. Exquisite Handmade Cakes has also been shortlisted in the Manufacturing category of Yorkshire Post’s Business Excellence Awards which will be revealed next month.


UK customers wishing to try the Exquisitely Rich Fruit Cake can order tins direct from Ilkley Brewery and Exquisite Handmade Cakes.


To find out more about Ilkley Brewery, visit, read the brewery’s blog or follow on Twitter @Ilkleybrewery


For further information on Exquisite Handmade Cakes, visit or follow on Twitter @ExqHmadeCakes



Images attached (high resolution versions available on request):

–       Chris Ives, director of Ilkley Brewery, and Viv Parry, owner of Leeds-based Exquisite Handmade Cakes with their New York-bound beer cake

–       The Exquisitely Rich Fruit Cake.


Media contact:

For further media information, please contact Katy Barraclough, Conway PR, on 07813 094945 / 01943 430257 or email


Notes to editors:

Exquisitely Rich Fruit Cake ingredients

Ilkley Brewery’s Stout Mary (a full bodied oatmeal stout with a strong bitter finish of blackcurrant and coffee), sultanas, raisins, currants, cherries, orange & lemon peel, wheat flour, sugar, apricot jam (glaze).


About Ilkley Brewery

The Ilkley Brewery Co. Ltd. was founded in January 2009 by Chris Ives and Stewart Ross.


The idea behind the brewery came from a desire to re-establish brewing in the spa town of Ilkley following the closure of the original Ilkley Brewery and Aerated Water Company in 1920 which was taken over by Hammond’s Bradford Brewery Co. in 1923. With an initial investment of £70,000, Chris and Stewart bought an eight barrel brew plant in spring 2009 and moved into their first premises at Lencia Trading Estate, East Parade, Ilkley where they had the capacity to brew 4,600 pints a week.


In May 2009, The Ilkley Brewery made its first brew, Olicana Gold, and secured its first two permanent pumps. In late spring 2009, Ilkley Best and Ilkley Original joined the re-named Ilkley Gold in the company’s stable of beers and these were quickly followed by the famous Mary Jane.