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07 May 2024

A Day in the Life Of... Speciality Breads

A Day in the Life Of... Speciality Breads

First task of the morning?

The bakery is in Margate, by the sea and I live the other side of Kent, so my morning commute is approx. 50 minutes. I find this time great for planning a virtual to-do list in my head so that I’m ready to go when I get into the office. My day starts fairly early and I’m normally at my desk by about 07:20 or so. I walk through the office to say good morning to anyone else who’s in and then sit down to check my emails. From hereon in, every day really is very different so it’s impossible to say what’s a typical day.

And just like that, it's mid-morning already...simon

Today, we have some of the team from Wildfarmed in for a visit. We started using Wildfarmed flour in all of our breads from 1st Jan this year. It’s a great partnership as their ethics tie in perfectly with our own. They’re all about sustainability, quality and ethics, as are we. Our mission is to become the most sustainable bakery in the UK. Graham, our Head of National Acounts & Marketing is running the day but I’ll pop in to say hi and have a quick chat whilst they’re here. I’ll then get on with some admin stuff that I’ve been putting off, prep for 1:1’s and emails.

It's lunch time!

I normally try to pop out to pick up a sandwich for lunch, as much for a change of scenery as anything else. Bizarrely, I only eat our bread when we have customer visits as the focus is on packing everything for our customers. It is something that I’d like to fix though, so that we make our breads more available for the team. Today though, as Wildfarmed are in, I’ll probably take the opportunity to join them for lunch.

Afternoon pick me up?

This afternoon, I’ve got some time planned in to look at new product ideas, as we have our first Category Management meeting of the year on Friday. This is where we all bring our ideas to the team and then start the process of narrowing them down into what we hope will be winning products for the future. We try and keep a nice mix of safe bets as well as some more quirky ideas. This year, for example, we’ve launched Frozen Dough Scone Pucks, Shokupan Buns, Crumpet Loaves and Cola Buns. The Crumpet Loaf is epic!!! The big news for us at the moment is that we’re in the process of planning a site move to a new purpose-built state-of-the-art bakery in 2025. There’s a lot of work going into this from across the team and we’re getting closer to finalising the building and equipment, but the ever-present budget pressure means that you’re constantly thinking of creative ways to make the numbers add up. It’s coming together really well, but there are still a few hurdles to jump over first. We’ll get there!!!

It's time to wind down!

On my drive home, I’ll normally listen to a podcast. My current favourites are “The Rest is Politics” with Rory Stewart and Alistair Campbell and “Collecting Cars” with Chris Harris. I’m a big petrolhead so anything car or motorbike related will get my attention. Then once I get home, my English Springer Spaniel will be bouncing around ready for her evening walk. She’s great company at the end of the day and a nice walk across the fields is the perfect way to switch into home mode. I’ll then cook dinner for my wife and we’ll catch up with whichever series we’re binge watching at the time. At the moment it’s “Jack Ryan”, which I’d highly recommend.

To find out more about Speciality Breads, and to take a look at some of their amazing products, head to their website here:

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