Our building is the old dairy. I think this was the bottling room, which is why it’s on a slant. Underneath there’s a deep bunker with thick brick walls, where they’d store the milk.
My first customer was The Ram in Firle, so they’re our oldest friends. Today we cover an area from Alfriston, across to Haywards Heath and down to Brighton. We supply around 30 food businesses: restaurants, gastro pubs, cafes and farm shops, plus our own shop in Lewes.
In my 20s I went travelling a lot. I loved travelling around Scandinavia and started eating such characterful breads. When I got the travelling bug out of me, I wanted to learn a craft – and found I was good at baking. I love it.
Someone’s usually here from 8pm and we bake until around 8am. Then the kitchen opens, preparing food for the shop. Friday night’s the big night, so we start earlier. We could bake up to 1,500 loaves, plus cakes and tray bakes.
Essentially we’re making bread the old-fashioned way. We’ve got linen cloths, a mixer, a wooden table and an oven. And our hands.
All the bread is made from our own blend of flours. We might call a loaf ‘white’ but really it’s white with a bit of light rye, a bit of malt… That’s how we produce distinctive products. All those little changes will adjust the flavour.
Sunday is the only day we’re shut. We work Sunday night but don’t work on Saturday night. It’s always been that way. I like to see my kids on a Sunday.
As told to Mark Bridge
209 High Street. 01273 472769.
First published in Viva Lewes magazine issue 103 April 2015.