We are very excited to have received a business boost from TV Dragons’ Den star Theo Paphitis. On Sunday I tweeted Theo about the bakery during ‘Small Business Sunday’, a twitter initiative set up by Theo that runs weekly. I was keen to show off our lovely new website and hopefully get some recognition for all of our hard work.
Amazingly, Theo re‐tweeted my message to over 300,000 followers and the ‘twittersphere’ went crazy – we got about 100 new followers in an hour and have made lots of new connections and interest in the bakery.
We will also be profiled on Theo’s new website (www.theopaphitissbs.com) that is exclusive to Small Business Sunday winners. We are on his home page at the moment which is very exciting!
So, a new website deserves a new blog post too. As always, we have been busy here at the bakery, working on new ideas, products and developments.
Firstly, you really need to try our chocolate hot cross buns. They are a taste sensation, with chocolate chips instead of fruit! For the traditionalists among you, we have some rather delicious spicy fruit ones too. They are handmade every morning – catch the beautiful cinnamon smell wafting around the village and you will know they are ready!
Secondly, our Wednesday Bread Club is now fully up and running. We keep the doors open until late (7pm) on a Weds evening so that you can order bread to collect after work. Orders can be made in the shop, or online through the Bread Club section of the website.
Experienced Sales Supervisor / Manager
Bramhall bakery is looking for a dynamic team member to work across the business. You will need to have retail experience (sales, merchandising, rostering, cleaning etc.) preferably in a fresh food environment. You will also need a passion for the food industry and be willing to get involved in a wide range of aspects of the business.
In return you will be part of a growing team building an exciting new business. You will learn about successful small business management and be able to take on more responsibility as the business grows.
We will consider both full and part time applicants.
For more information or to apply, send your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org
So – it’s been a while since we updated the blog. As always we have been busy at the bakery…. So what have we been doing?
We’ve been developing a lunch menu. We now do hot soup, pizzas, pasties, sausage rolls and sandwiches Monday to Friday. So, if you are in the village and after a bite to eat then come and check out what we have to offer. We looking to add to and vary the sandwich range and so keep on a look out for new flavours.
We have also been developing some new recipes. Have you tried the Wholemeal Date and Walnut Loaf or the Rye Swirl yet?
In the next few weeks our website is being upgraded and we’ve had some fantastic photos taken too thank to Ithaca Photography.
We have lots of plans in train for Christmas – we will be letting you know how to order your bread in the next few weeks to make sure you get what you want for Christmas (and help us manage our production). So look out in the shop and on line for more information.
The Bramhall Bakery story started around the time of the birth of our second child, at Christmas 2010, when we decided to move back to the UK after 6 years in Melbourne, Australia. We get asked ‘why, why, why’ on a daily basis…. In short, the pull of family ties in Stockport and the increasing cost of living in Australia, outweighed the obvious lifestyle advantages of life down under. And so, the process of moving a young family around the globe began!
The move was based on an international transfer with the global consulting firm where I worked leading large government projects. Scott left his job managing 2 large retail bakeries and was looking forward to finding a new challenge. However, just days before our flight, with the house sold and our goodbyes said, news came through that as a result of the ongoing recession, the transfer could not be honoured. After the initial shock, we decided to head on to Manchester regardless and work out a plan B.
We arrived in Manchester in early November and on our first weekend plan B started to take shape when we visited Bramhall and spotted the shop to let at 6 Bramhall Lane South. We had come to the conclusion that combining Scott’s baking expertise, with my business skills would be a strong combination for a successful retail business. Scott had managed bakeries for others for many years and had a dream of managing his own bakery. Working for ourselves would also give me more flexibility than a corporate role to spend time with our young boys.
We signed the lease in February and after a testing time, including Scott having to return to Australia and a major damp issue in the property (requiring all the walls and floors to be stripped out and replaced…), we met our target of opening Bramhall Bakery on 1 May 2012 (less than 6 months after touching down from Australia!)
Our focus and passion in the bakery is on baking high quality bread fresh, and from scratch, on the premises everyday. Unlike most of the breads available in supermarkets and other bakeries, there are no added preservatives. We also have a range of real breads, which are made using traditional techniques and long fermentation times (including rye, spelt and sourdoughs). This passion for a quality product means that Scott starts baking in the early hours of the morning (in fact he starts at 11pm on a Friday to get all the bread out for Saturday morning) so if he looks a bit weary you know why!
We have been open for 3 months now, although it already feels like a lifetime, and we have built a sustainable business with an increasing reputation for quality bread. We are now starting to look to the next stage and recruiting to grow the business (as well as hopefully spend a bit more time with the boys). So next time you are in Bramhall, do pop in and say hello – there are always samples for you to try too!
We are recruiting:
Shop assistant – retail experience essential, able to work during school term time.
Baker – a skilled and experienced baker who can demonstrate experience across all aspects of the bread making process. Flexibility, drive and energy required as part of a small, but fast moving and exciting new venture. The role will involve night/early morning shifts.
To apply for either position please send your CV and a covering letter to email@example.com
So, we have had a sign in the window – come in for some Real Bread – and mention it regularly in tweets and elsewhere, and so we thought that we should explain in a bit more detail what we mean by Real Bread!
The ‘Real Bread Campaign’ defines ‘Real Bread’ as follows
“…..the only essential ingredients of bread are: Flour Water Yeast – cultured or naturally occurring (as in sourdough) Salt Additional ingredients are great as long as they are natural (e.g. seeds, nuts, cheese, herbs, oils, fats and dried fruits) and contain no artificial additives.”
We agree with this definition and have a number of our breads listed on their website as ‘Real Bread’ and continue to expand this range.
All of our bread is baked fresh from scratch everyday.
Why is Real Bread important?
Real bread is better for you – it does not contain the wide range of artificial additives, large amounts of salt and fat and other ingredients e.g. enzymes and anti mould sprays which factory produced supermarket loaves do. It is real, rather than processed food.
Real bread also tends to be made by local independent bakeries like Bramhall Bakery, at the heart of the community creating local jobs and contributing to the local economy. Our bread is made here in Bramhall everyday and has not been transported across the country on a lorry before it gets to the shelves.
So, you ask – How can I get some of this real bread? Come in and try some – our Real varieties include:
– Sourdoughs – Olive Sourdough / Sundried Tomato Sourdough – Fruit Sourdough varieties – Grain Sourdoughs – Italian Loaf – Spelt Loaf – Rye Loaf
So, one month in and we have not had much time to update the blog…. I hope you enjoyed the long weekend – we certainly enjoyed the opportunity to take a deep breath and reflect on month 1 of our exciting venture. And, get some sleep, of course!
We are excited by how much our real bread has been appreciated and the great feedback and repeat custom that we are getting. Thank you for all of your support. Our scones have been really popular over the last few weeks too (traditional Jubilee fayre!) – our cherry ones were a special but proved so popular that we make them every day now.
We also took the opportunity over the weekend to have a look at our range and what has been popular over the last few weeks. We have so many new ideas that we can’t possibly implement them all at once…. As a start, today we have been making a cranberry and fruit sourdough that is absolutely delicious (think yummy fruit toast!) and we brought back our bread rolls over the last few days due to popular demand. We have also started making a Challah bread on Fridays. Look out for more exciting specials over the next few weeks and other additions to our range.
We are really pleased to be supporting Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Day on Saturday. Real food made with real ingredients is a topic close to our hearts.
So, what is the food revolution all about?
Jamie and the Food Revolution team want to change the way people eat by educating every child about food, giving families the skills and knowledge to cook again, and motivating people to stand up for their rights to better food. Food Revolution Day aims to educate and inspire people everywhere to stand up for real food and empower the public to demand more from governments, schools and food manufacturers all over the world in order to sanction the mission of better food, and improved food education for all.
On Saturday we will have some special sourdoughs to celebrate Food Revolution Day including a healthy Eight Grain and a delicious Apricot and Walnut. Come along and try some or some of our other real breads.
We are also running a competition in conjunction with Food Revolution Manchester, where local children can submit a recipe to win a chance to have a tour of the bakery and baking demonstration on Wednesday afternoon. Drop any entries into the shop by Saturday.
Well we are onto week 3 and it has been a crazy few weeks. We would like to thank the people of Bramhall, for well…just being so lovely!! It has been great to meet you all and it is fantastic how much you appreciate the bread and what we are doing in the bakery.
We have been introducing new products as we go and this week has seen some delicious brioche (plain and choc chip), a fruit sourdough at the weekend, as well as a range of tasty sandwiches. We will be doing more things everyday and increasing our cake range too.
Lots of you have been asking about rolls/baps/barms cakes/muffins (depending on where you come from…). We have made the tough decision not to make them at the moment as we make everything by hand and the individual rolls were just taking too long and diverting our energy from the delicious artisan breads. We will take orders for large quantities for events etc and we are also looking at the possibility of getting a bun divider machine in the future.
Must get back to it, more soon….