After catching a bit of the marathon yesterday, I really feel like we are on the last leg now and the finishing line is in sight. We knew building a bakery, how we wanted to build it, was going to be a big job and it has turned out to be a real marathon. Now for the final push so we can get fantastic bread out onto the shelves on Tuesday 1 May.
This week is about the final touches, counter and lights out front, getting the ingredients delivered, putting up the sign and testing, testing, testing…. If you are around Bramhall later in the week, the smell of fresh bread will be wafting around as we will be doing lots of test baking. Look out for some samples and tastings too, if you are in the right place at the right time.
Right, must go – lots to do so that by my next update, we shall be ready to open.
PS – check out our facebook page for pictures of our transformation and don’t forget to follow us on twitter @bramhallbakery to hear about what we’re up to
Things are getting a bit crazy, with just 2 weeks (yes that’s only 2 weeks) until we open, so not much time to update the blog… The shopfitting is coming to an end and by next weekend it will have all come together and we will be ready to test bake.
The oven arrived early Sunday morning, apologies to anyone who got held up in the street- you can see from the photos that it was a tricky job getting it all in. There was a fair amount of head scratching and measuring/remeasuring but they did an excellent job and walls and floors are still intact…
This week is about ceilings, wiring in the equipment and lights and finally putting in the counter and shelving. Look out for us if you are around and about, there have been and there will be a few early mornings and late nights getting things ready. We just want to get it all done now, so we can start baking some bread!
Another week has gone by and this one has been all about walls and floors. We’ve been painting up a storm and slowly removing the ugly blue colour bit by bit… the front will be the last to go, but we promise it will do and will no longer be an ugly blight on the face of the village (apologies to any city fans who might have liked it!!)
The flooring team have done a great job and next step is for the cladding to go up in the production area. I can’t believe that by this time next week we will have the production area finished and most of our machinery in, including the oven. Things are starting to get pretty exciting!
So, it seems about time to lock in an opening date (people keep asking us and it’s time to let them know). May 1st it is! We will be having a Grand Opening Week so do come and try us out. We will be test baking for a few days before that, so look out for us then too (you never know there may be some samples kicking about!).
It feels like we are getting to that stage of Grand Designs where at last, after all the disasters, budget overruns and curveballs thrown in (just to make good TV) it all starts to come together and something great emerges from the building site.
The builders have finished – hooray! Although the team from Irish and Walker have been fantastic and have done a top notch job, so we will miss them very much. But, at the same time we are getting closer to making some bread!
Building a bakery (I have learned over the last few months) is like building a mini-factory and shop all in one. There is still lots of preparation needed to get the bakery area ready for the ovens, mixers, provers and other equipment arriving on the 15th – so the next week or so is focused on getting the floors and walls ready.
We got loads of ideas and saw lots of goodies at the food and drink expo last weekend. My favourites were cake pops and we’re getting quite excited about our own range! Watch this space.
Must say that Bramhall is looking great in the sunshine. It was fabulous to see the crowds outside the bars and cafes on Friday afternoon, there is a real buzz about the place that makes us really excited to be part of it. Soon we will be able to make those sunny days even better with fresh baked baguettes, ciabattas and other yummy treats for those summer picnics and barbeques – must admit that I can’t wait myself for the bakery to open (am planning the picnics already – the warm weather must have gone to my head!)
Well progress has been a bit slow in some respects this week as we have been hit by a nasty dose of the flu. Very frustrating to be laid low when there is so much exciting work to be done.
The building work has been going full steam ahead and anyone in Bramhall who has had a chance to poke their head through the door will see that we now have floors and walls and things are really starting to take shape. (You can almost see the trays of bread coming out of the oven…..well you can if you have a very good imagination!) There has been the odd disaster of crumbling plaster and broken doors to deal with – interesting that these things always seem to happen when Scott is around helping out!!! Next week will be plaster, paint,electrics and maybe even floors and ceilings – at last we are getting there.
I’m still recovering from my trip to London…. twenty bakeries in about 6 hours and so many that I didn’t manage to get to. I have sore feet and a big bag of yummy things to try. We already had so many ideas from all of the wonderful bakeries in food-loving Melbourne and so now we are overwhelmed!
It was amazing to see the queues at Princi in Soho – beautiful Italian breads sold 24 hours a day (with a beer if you want). A completely different bakery concept. Delicious focaccias, olive breads, pizzas and other treats straight from the wood fired oven.
There were so many artisan bakeries selling handmade sourdoughs, baguettes, brioche, fruit breads, scones and much more. London is clearly crazy for decent bread at the moment. Lunch was a beautiful brioche roll topped with goats cheese and tomato, I think we will definitely be testing those in Bramhall.
Also managed a nosy around Jamie Oliver’s new shop and cooking school in Battersea. It looked fantastic! I have definitely picked up lots of styling hints.
Afternoon tea was at a little neighbourhood bakery in Balham (coincidentally another Aussie starting a new venture). Delicious cakes and a great open plan bakery – fascinating to watch the theatre as the baker made a batch of chocolate meringues. 6 Bramhall Lane won’t be able to be that open plan, but our plans do mean that customers will still be able to see Scott working his magic.
Just itching to open now and put all these ideas into practice. Building work is progressing at speed and we are still on track at the moment. There is so much to do, we knew it was a big project but seems to grow by the day…
Well another week has gone and the bakery is really starting to take shape. There’s still loads to do – we definitely took on a location with more than a few challenges but really think it will be worth it in the end – we are loving Bramhall and are very excited about opening our business here. If there are no more surprises… we will be open in early May.
There has been lots of interest about whether we will be taking on staff. Well, we will definitely need some help and are looking to run some interviews around Easter time to pull together a team that is as passionate about good bread and fantastic service as we are!!! We are also looking for at least one apprentice as training others in craft baking skills and expertise is really important to us and how we want to run our business. So if you know anyone who fits the bill, let us know by dropping an e-mail with some details to firstname.lastname@example.org
Next week brings a trip to the big smoke to check out some of the exciting artisan bakeries in London.
A new week is upon us and all is progressing well. While the team get on with the renovations we have started to focus on the bread, as that is what it is all about!
We are really looking forward to bringing our range of sourdoughs to the people of Bramhall. Scott has been busy perfecting his levain or starter (the natural leavening medium which produces the distinctively tangy or sour taste) as we want to get the flavour just right. Our sourdoughs will be authentic with no preservatives, additives or chemicals added and baked fresh from scratch everyday.
Let us know about your favourite breads.
Scott’s itching to get baking. He’s been out choosing his oven and mixers – like a kid in a toy shop!! Let’s just hope the oven fits through the front door, otherwise his joinery skills are going to be tested to the limit…
I’ve been working on designs for the shop front. We can’t wait to see what the designers come back with and for our ideas to turn into reality (and the shop to start looking pretty).
The boys from Irish and Walker are doing a great job on the building works and if things keep going to plan then the smell of fresh bread will be wafting through Bramhall before you know it. Let’s keep our fingers crossed!
You can’t beat a good before and after photo. It’s only the start of day three and as you can see work is already well underway. This is what we are starting with – don’t you just love the blue…
The boys were able to get their fun tools out of the van and destroy, destroy, destroy!!! Tomorrow, the floor.