The most common questions I get asked are, Where can you buy my bread? What do I cook?
As life starts to return to “normal” I am making a few changes in when I bake and where I go.
During lockdown it was a matter of working out what was possible in order to keep making bread – now I am trying to focus on what will work for me and for my local customers.
It is worth mentioning that with my birthday this month I would have to say I am now in my late 60s. I bake bread because I love doing it, rather than as a job, and because there is no one else locally selling the bread I would want to eat. I think after a 10 year apprenticeship, learning all the time, the bread I bake is now pretty good, and I like sharing it with people. If I can work out how to do this and make sure it remains fun I see no reason why I cannot keep on baking for another decade!
I am now baking at least once every week Currently on Thursdays – for a delivery to Roots Larder off Newport Street on Friday mornings, and for customers who pre-order to pick up from my house in Stafford either on Thursday night or Friday morning..
The Thursday bake covers the basics – a small selection of Sour doughs, and a selection of yeasted breads. If I can increase the number of people pre-ordering I can gradually increase the range of breads. I send out a weekly reminder to find out who wants what. I could add a few more people onto this list if you are interested
On the two weeks when I do a farmer’s market I will also be baking on Friday for the Saturday markets at Stone (First Saturday every month) and Stafford (second Saturday every month). I have now stopped the third market at Newcastle with Castle artisan because It is too far away and there is a very good locally based bread co-operative group offering breads which are pretty similar to mine.
I like the farmers markets because I see people, and it is an opportunity for me to offer a wider range of breads. (there are hundreds of recipes that I want to make), but I don’t intend taking on any more markets.
It is worth mentioning that for people who pre-order I normally knock off 20% because pre-ordering eliminates the uncertainty that goes with farmers markets. Bad weather or holidays may mean I have to find room to freeze left overs for myself at the end of a day. Good weather may mean I don’t bring enough!
I think that all of my breads freeze pretty well, and I know a lot of my regular customers buy for a week, or even a month at a time. I do occasionally bake a whole batch just for an individual customer. Lots of my customers have individual requests – such as soft top, or caraway seeds – which I am able to do for them.
What I would really like to know from you is what are you hoping to find, and how I can best make it work for you. So please get in touch and let me know what you are looking for!