Davina Steel is an award-winning artisan bakery, creating gluten-free bread, focaccia, scones and pizza. Based in Thaxted, Davina Steel and her husband Dan Jennings have set out to redefine the taste of gluten-free baking through their bake-at-home kits and bread selections.

They set up their business in 2015 under the name of MannaVida, earning huge recognition for their products in winning at the World Bread Awards twice and being sold in outlets such as Holland & Barrett, Ocado and 250 farm shops and delicatessens nationwide.

Davina Steel baking logo

How Invest ESSEX has been assisting Davina Steel

The gluten-free bread mix producer Davina Steel continues to flourish after its nomination in the Great British Food Awards 2018 and the imminent launch of six new products.

Davina Steel’s products have a simple three-step process of ‘Mix, Rise, Bake’, with fresh bread ready to eat in less than 90 minutes from start to finish.

“We wanted to entice ‘normal’ gluten bakers, as the bread is so close to gluten bread that people find it difficult to tell the difference. In this way, it should appeal to families, whether they contain a gluten avoider or not, because the loaves are so simple to make – no kneading or fuss: just mix, rise and bake.”

Davina Steel
Davina Steel Baking the Difference

[Source: phoenixfm]

Davina Steel is one of the SMEs Invest ESSEX have been working with, assisting with business growth through the sourcing of grants and funding, social media development, PR support and provision of relevant business introductions.

Invest ESSEX’s ERDF funded advisors have also been able to introduce Davina Steel to Carmel Jane Photography, the UK’s leading dance school photography business, covering high quality school photography and commercial. Davina Steel was a guest on Carmel Jane Talks Business Show on Phoenix FM, talking about her expansion as an SME. Listen to the interview below:

"The Invest ESSEX team has been a really positive lifeline for us. The team guided us through our rebrand with advice and assistance on PR and social media. They organised a grant towards equipment for our new gluten free bakery and even introduced us to a significant investor who is about to take over the running of our bakery. The whole team is dedicated, as we are, to bringing Essex to prominence in the food and employment markets. It’s a real pleasure to work with them."

Davina Steel
Davina Steel Baking the Difference

Besides the multitude of accolades already received, Marks & Spencer and Morrisons have described their products as the best gluten-free bread they have ever tasted.

As well as relisting in existing outlets, Davina Steel is hoping to capitalise on its growing reputation with an even greater in-store presence, alongside selling online via Amazon, The Food Market and many other vendors.

Davina Steel focaccia baking kit

Davina Steel and award nominations

Davina Steel has been nominated in the gluten-free section of the Great British Food Awards for its ‘Baking the Difference Garlic and Rosemary Focaccia Kit’. The winners will be announced on October 11th, in the November issue of ‘Great British Food’ magazine.

The Garlic and Rosemary Focaccia bread kit has also been shortlisted in the 2018 Nourish awards.

Three Kits:

  • Garlic and Rosemary Focaccia
  • Onion Focaccia
  • Choc Chip Focaccia

Three Classic Mixes:

  • White Loaf
  • Pizza Base
  • Scones
Davina Steel products on table

Davina Steel contributing to the gluten-free industry

According to a Mintel Report in 2016, 17% of 16-24 and 13% of 25-34 had switched to gluten-free food in the previous six months while 64% of 25-34 and 59% of 35-44 regularly bought free-from products.

Gluten-free products make up the majority of the free-from category and the UK free-from sector was worth £580m in 2017, the free-from bakery accounting for £225m.

Besides bread mixes, a pizza base mix is also among the Davina Steel range.

“A lot of the gluten-free bread mixes on the market contain chemicals and preservatives but ours are clean and have only natural ingredients.”

Dan Jennings
Managing Director
Davina Steel Baking the Difference

While Davina Steel’s six new products are due to hit the shops/online in the next few weeks, they will also launch at the Food Matters exhibition at Excel from 20-22 November 2018.

Find out more here: www.davinasteel.com

[Source: Phoenix FM]


Business support

Invest ESSEX helps companies to relocate or expand in Essex. Our work is delivered by the Let’s Do Business Group and is jointly funded by Essex County Council (ECC) and the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

For more information on how we can support your business, see here: SME Support page