Foodies Blog

Meet the Maker: Ashlee Winstanley of KO-CO Brownies

Our Meet the Maker series is going down a treat with our foodies and this festive season we’re thrilled to bring you all the seasonal makers who will add that special touch to your Christmas dining and gifting plans.

Taking a trip from Oxford to Blackburn, this week’s feature is with Ashlee Winstanley, founder of decadent organic chocolate bakery KO-CO Brownies.

A qualified nutritionist, self-confessed chocoholic and founder of an organic bakery that’s loaded with flavour.

What does one do when the free-from section of the supermarket leaves you feeling drab and devoid of quality dessert choice? At first glance the answer may not be ‘to start your own bakery business’ but that’s exactly the leap of faith that Ashlee Winstanley took. Speaking on her journey from consumer to business owner, she says:

“I’m Ashlee and I’m a chocoholic. I’m also a qualified nutritionist. Avid diver passionate about our oceans. And creator of KO-CO Brownies. KO-CO was created to encompass all my passions in one. Crazy I know, but crazy works. Being free-from and a massive foodie myself, I was fed up of being left disappointed trying to find a healthier product that was gluten free yet tasted like the real deal, but wasn’t full of additives and 101 nasty ingredients that effect our health. Then comes the issue of everything being wrapped in plastic, that you can’t even dispose of, recycle or I will end up seeing again diving at the bottom of the ocean. So I created KO-CO Brownies to make that available for other people too. Making all our products Gluten free, Dairy Free, Palm oil free and Plastic Free with vegan options too. Only using Organic natural ingredients and 100% compostable packaging. So whether you have a dietary need, just prefer to eat healthier or care for our environment (or all three) KO-CO is for you.”

Introducing two new flavours at Foodies Festival in Tatton Park this November, they’ll be something for everyone at the KO-CO stall and we wanted to find out from Ashlee what visitors can expect from her next weekend.

“I love Christmas time and all the Christmas flavours! I think our new gingerbread s’mores is one of my favourites, it has that cosy sitting by the fire feel with a gooey chocolate brownie, topped with gingerbread and marshmallows.”

From Foodies Festival vendor to Great British Bake-Off fame?

When it comes to growing a successful recipe development is key and with Ashlee that’s no exception.

“We are always expanding our brownie range. As well as brownies we have melting pots which turn into warm gooey brownie with a melt in the middle that you cook yourself (the salted caramel core is my fave). A range of brownie truffles in different flavours that have a truffle like middle but our great brownie taste bagged up in our compostable bags. As well as some vegan salted caramel nut butter cups that have a layer of homemade hazelnut butter topped with our special raw salted caramel all encompassed in a dark chocolate cup.”

If that hasn’t wet your appetite by now we’re sure taking a look at her Instagram Takeover over on the Foodies Festival account today will do the trick.

Lastly, we wanted to throw a quick question GBBO question in for the win. So Ashlee, ‘what’s been your highlight of the Great British Bakeoff so far?’:

“I wish I could be on bake off, but I don’t think they would appreciate brownies for every signature bake. I love all of it, it gives me loads of inspiration and ideas when I watch other people create unique flavours and make food look so beautiful to eat. I’m like a mad professor when baking and love creating new things.”

For tickets to Foodies Festival Christmas in Tatton Park click the link below. You’ll get the chance to shop from the finest local food and drinks makers like Ashlee, all while taking in live cooking demonstrations from the nation’s best chefs.

Tatton Park, 15th – 17th November

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