Judges Bakery: Bread is the New Chocolate

What do you do when you have just sold Green & Black's chocolate for £22M ($ 43M)? You open a bakery in a small fishing village by the sea, of course. That's what Josephine Fairley and Craig Sams did --they took over a sleepy bakery and cafe and turned it into an award-winning bakery and organic food shop in Hastings. And won the Soil Association's 2007 Award for Best Organic Small Shop along the way. So here’s the story…. Craig Sams had been involved in the organic movement for a long time and was Chair of the Soil Association. Jo Fairley, his wife, was a journalist and author of The Beauty Bible, a website and book about cosmetics. They come from Hastings and bought a farm on the outskirts of town. Judges Bakery had been around since 1826 and was a tired but traditional operation in a town that was becoming more fashionable. They took it over, changed it into organic, converted all the recipes to Soil Association approved status,and removed all the fats and additives. Even the baby pig meringues are now pinked with beetroot juice. They hired pastry chefs to made artisan breads and now they bake almost round the clock. Since they want to keep food miles low almost everything is from local natural suppliers and producers in the area. The farm is also a source of produce--they have planted a 180-tree orchard which will ultimately provide the apples for the bakery's apple pies, and buns. Now there is a staff of 27 working at the store between the bakery, kitchen and shop. Craig Sams is also working on links to schools and a hospital in the area; keeping those ethical principles alive as well as the entrepreneurial ones. So that’s what you do when your last job was running a chocolate factory. :: Judges Bakery

Tags: London

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