Over the last month we have been busy starting an on site bakery in the shop. The credit crunch is making people in the countryside aware that just to drive 3 miles for a loaf of bread might be a little eccentric. We support home breadmaking by offering a variety of flours from french bread to wholemeal but we felt what was missing was the smell of fresh bread, croissants and freshly baked goodies on site.
The transformation is as magical as we thought and although the workload increases, there is nothing that beats the smell of freshly baked bread wafting through the shop and increasing the feel good factor. The supermarkets stagger their baking efforts throughout the day to appeal to the customer to by fresh bread, doughnuts etc. In the village shop we bake early in the morning a selection of pastries, organic loaves and baguettes but when the quantity has run out we do not bake again. This means that early in the morning people sit on the outside bench waiting until the bread is ready.
Summer may have bypassed us but the bakery in the shop has brought a summer holiday feeling to our customers and all who visit.
There is still a lot of repair work to be carried out on the premises and the kitchen to expand the range. The feedback has been great and we have more visitors who follow their noses.