Meet the Locals:
Linda de Vecchis
Broughshane baker, Linda de Vecchis, is famous for her sticky toffee pudding. “We had a bus full of French tourists and every single one bought one of our award-winning Irish Whiskey and Porter sticky toffee puddings to take home!” she explains in her private bakery, Linda’s Originals.
“Probably our most popular pudding is a cross between sticky toffee and Christmas pudding. We sell it in November and people are always asking when it will be ready. But I tell them it takes a month just to soak the fruit! Like all good things, it takes time.”
The benches are brimming with handmade sausage rolls, pastries and slices.“Everything I produce is handmade and uses the best local ingredients I can find. It’s so important to keep that tradition alive and it’s something visitors to this area love.
“My production kitchen is in the beautiful Raceview Mill, a converted woollen mill in Broughshane.
This is one of the loveliest villages in Northern Ireland and the stopping off point for Slemish Mountain, where St Patrick lived as a shepherd.
In fact, Broughshane was crowned Channel 4’s Village of the Year 2018.
“Raceview Mill is a wonderful place for people who love artisan crafts, arts and foods and it has a great café called the Red Brick. People can buy all our products there if they wish.
“As well as supplying cafes, delis and restaurants I also sell my products at artisan markets in Ballymena, on the Causeway Coast and in the Glens. Hopefully, I’ll expand to other markets in the Mid & East Antrim area soon.
“The council have been very proactive in encouraging artisan markets and local artisan food producers and word is spreading fast. It’s a way for visitors to taste local tradition when you travel you want to try local foods and you want something unique to take home too.”