People who buy their bread in local supermarkets may not know about Bakery Bits at Lowmoor Business Park in Wellington, but it is one of the country’s most reputable and biggest suppliers of artisan bread-making ingredients and equipment to both commercial and domestic bakers in more than 60 countries around the world.
Owner Patrick Thornberry started baking when he was very young and maintained his interest through university. An interest in sourdough baking ten years ago before it became popular and a realisation that equipment only available in Australia was actually made in France led him to begin a hobby business, buying and selling products on ebay.
He explained, “I first set up Bakery Bits in Honiton but it rapidly outgrew the premises there so I moved to Wellington. I’m already finding trouble with space as the business has grown steadily. I’m selling to more and more businesses around the world as well as to the general public.”
Bakery Bits’ warehouse at Lowmoor is a treasury of the finest ingredients – including flours with poetic names such as Lammas Fayre, Medieval Peasant’s Blend and Anglo-Saxon Blend Wholemeal Rye – and equipment available for bakers. Patrick said, “We stock 30 to 40 different types of Italian organic flour, high-end French flour and very good English heritage flours from windmills and watermills around the country. There’s a surge in artisan bread-making and microbakeries are popping up all over. Much larger production bakeries then want to make ‘real’ bread of their own. Happily, there is demand everywhere from remote Scottish islands to the middle of Birmingham.”
All the flours that Bakery Bits sells are organically accredited and comply with food standards but they cater for tastes in bread that are different from standard supermarket products. Patrick said, “Bakeries need to differentiate their product as it’s the only way to compete.” And commenting on the rising popularity of sourdough, he said, “Supermarket sourdough is not true sourdough. There is no legal restriction on what can be called ‘sourdough’ which actually requires long-term fermentation.”
Bakery Bits provides a valuable and unique service to home bakers and businesses, 85% of them in the UK and 15% abroad and employs 4 full and part-timers as well as Patrick himself – who still bakes his own bread.
Bakery Bits is at 7, Lowmoor Business Park, Tonedale in Wellington. bakerybits.co.uk provides more information about the company’s range of products.