Woman who found baking talent while in the Army sets up her own brownies business

Emma Fox, 41 from Sharpness started her own business called Brownies and More after she left the army reserves in 2020
-Credit: (Image: Emma Fox)

A woman from Gloucestershire discovered a talent for baking during a team building exercise while serving in the army reserves. Initially joining the reserves as an electrician driver, Emma Fox, 41, later switched to train as an army chef.

Since leaving the service, Emma, from Sharpness, has launched her own business, whipping up cookies, brownies and more, with her scrumptious treats selling like hot cakes. She joined the Army Reserves at the age of 26, while also working as a physiotherapy assistant for the NHS.

Her role in the reserves as an electronic driver involved setting up generators to power a communications unit, a job which she admits wasn't quite the right fit for her. However, during an army team building day that involved a cooking competition, Emma found herself thoroughly enjoying the experience and displaying a clear talent for cooking and baking.

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A stores manager, impressed by Emma's performance in the competition, suggested she consider transferring to work in the army kitchen and train as a chef. Emma said: "I am ex-military and joined the army reserves when I was around 27-years-old. I worked in the reserves as an electrician driver before I then transferred and trained to be an army chef.

"We had a team building day taking part in a kind of Ready Steady Cook type competition. We were put into groups and I really got involved and all passionate about the competition and basically took over in the kitchen.

Emma in the Army reserves
Emma in the Army reserves -Credit:Emma Fox

"The stores master asked me if I had ever thought about being a chef, so I transferred and worked my way through courses and exams to be an army chef. I stayed working as an army chef for ten years before I left the reserves in 2020."

Emma met her husband Adam in the army when she was 23-years-old and they have two children, Jodie, who is four-years-old and Albie who is six. Emma left the army reserves in 2020, however she had already started baking goodies for friends and family during the pandemic and was encouraged to start her own business.

One of her creations
One of her creations -Credit:Emma Fox

Emma said: "During the pandemic lockdowns I was on maternity leave with my youngest. I started baking for my friends and family and sending them batches of cakes in the post.

"The reaction from people was a bit mental a they were all saying how much they loved the brownies and were saying I should start my own business. I have always liked to be busy and kept baking for a little bit of pocket money, however it was not long before I registered with the council as having a food business."

Brownies and More
Brownies and More -Credit:Emma Fox

Emma named her new venture Brownies and More. Having launched the business on social media, Emma had orders being placed straight away.

Emma said: "People were placing orders on social media and I was posting trays of brownies across the UK. It just got busier and busier.

"Having this business works for us all as a family. I am able to be at home for the children during the day, and when the little ones go to sleep I can start baking."

When lockdown lifted, and the world returned to some sense of normal, Emma looked at supplying shops with her brownie treats. Then she decided she would branch out even further and take her homemade delights to craft fairs and events.

Emma found a talent for baking while in the Army reserves
Emma found a talent for baking while in the Army reserves -Credit:Emma Fox

Emma said: "I approached a shop to see if they would sell my brownies. I started taking in three batches a week and they were selling out in a matter of hours.

"Things escalated from there and I approached cafes in the area who also started selling my brownies and cakes. Then one day I drove past a craft market and thought to myself I could do this.

"The first craft market I went to was in Sharpness where I live and I was pleasantly hocked with how well it went. Then I started to look for more events and carried on with that side for a couple of years."

The choices on offer
The choices on offer -Credit:Emma Fox

Still determined to grow and develop Brownies and More, Emma bought an horse box and had it made into a food trailer where she could work from to sell brownies and treats.

Emma said: "I bought a horse box in August 2023 and I had it converted into a trailer which I can sell the brownies from at events. I designed it myself so I can have a place to set up and sell from.

"I love the reaction from people when they see the trailer. People are walking past and they stop and come to have a look at the brownies as they are on display, and their reaction is lovely.

"I have so many events to go to this year and they range from music festivals to dog shows. To have one of the brownies is a proper indulgent treat and I would recommend the Old School Blondie or the Salted Caramel Brownie.."