Brooklyn Brownie Co., an American owned, father & son home bakery is making big waves across the pond.
With brownies named “basic b!t@h”, “smoregasam”, and “Hershey highway”, the last time a Yankee caused this much ruckus in England Mark Twain wrote a book about it.
40-year-old native New Yorker and father John Lashley, and his 13-year-old son Leo, live in a small market town in England called Northampton. It’s a town with a long history linked to the shoe trade, but this dynamic duo wants to change that recognition to focus on brownies.
Northampton’s rolling green countryside, stately homes and castles are a bit of a shift from towering skyscrapers and the Brooklyn Bridge, an icon which is now emblazoned across each recyclable brown box the two fill with individually wrapped delectable desserts.
Leo, who is now 13 is known as the “lil dude” and dad John is the “Main Dude”. They came up with their uniquely shaped chocolate treats covered in all sorts to sell by the 1kg dozen, because they craved them, but they couldn’t find them anywhere.
Starting with a Facebook page and local deliveries, there was a sudden demand due to word of mouth. And when the first lockdown happened, the demand for orders from the little home bakery suddenly increased further
“Leo and I just like the fact that we can make other people smile and it no longer feels like I am working, for once in my life I feel satisfied”.
For John, the best part is that he gets to build this all with his son Leo. The start of Brooklyn Brownie Co. has extra significance to the two. Leo’s mother, a mental health NHS nurse, took her own life only days after Brooklyn Brownie Co. was set up. Baking, and working on the business together has helped them both get through an extremely tough time for the family. “If we didn’t have Brooklyn Brownie Co. to keep us going, distract, and help us open up and communicate, then I don’t think we would’ve got through the summer of 2019.”
From food rationing because of hoarding, to lockdowns and logistics issues, John and Leo battled through unknown territory with their relatively new micro bakery. Being a social media-dependent business, they shared the day to day struggles with their followers. “There were times followers would drop off ingredients to the front door so that we could continue making brownies. Other times people on furlough demanded we give them our local deliveries so that they could deliver them for us allowing Leo and I to get to continue production and also get to bed at a decent time”.
In their first year of trading at the ripe old age of 12 Leo became the youngest person in the U.K. to win not just one but two regional Great British entrepreneur awards. Brooklyn Brownie Co. have also become finalists in the Business excellence awards, and only a few days ago found out that they are now finalists in The U.K. Food & Drink hero’s 2021.
John and Leo have recently raised enough money to acquire a 1997 American GMC ambulance— a find by 13-year-old YouTube fanatic Leo. The vehicle is currently in the process of being converted into a food truck by the legendary Shred & Butta, another small business that has recently boomed. The vehicle will allow them to travel around the U.K. promoting and growing the brand.
The father and son team designed and built their stainless steel prosumer kitchen themselves. “At a push we can produce up to 10 thousand brownies a week from it”. Times when they get large volume orders is when John’s supportive partner Becky will lend a hand.
A new market has opened up to Brooklyn Brownie Co. with the potential of rapid growth in the government sector, and with what’s been mentioned, the dynamic duo might need a small army to join them very soon.
Phone: +44 (0) 7940 125 004