For those who follow me over on Instagram @becky_wren will know that I posted some very yummy photos of brownies from the Dorset Food & Arts Festival earlier in August after discovering the Bayside Bakery stand. And let me tell you, they didn’t last long!
I love supporting local businesses, especially the edible ones, so was thrilled when Katy from Bayside Bakery agreed to be interviewed for the Country Bumpkin Chic blog.
Hey Katy, thank you so much for agreeing to appear on the CBC blog to chat about Bayside Bakery…
You’re welcome, it’s always nice to talk about chocolate brownies!
How did the idea around Bayside Bakery come about?
I didn’t ever plan to start Bayside Bakery, it just happened. I had been a critical care nurse for 15 years and after a particularly challenging shift I suddenly realised that I couldn’t do it anymore, so I handed my notice in at the end of the shift! Driving home I was thinking, what can I do now? And all I knew I could do was bake. That was my starting point.
Wow, that’s an amazing start to business, how long ago was that & where do you base yourself?
I started my business in April 2015 and everything is baked from our home in Bridport, on the Jurassic Coast.
Tell us about your range of edible products you bake & sell?
I bake by hand in small batches a whole range of different chocolate brownies from the classic Original Bayside Brownie to the Chocolate Orange Brownie Delight and Dark Chocolate and Ginger both of which won Gold awards in the Taste Of The West competition. I sell the brownies at different markets and food shows and also in beautiful gift boxes which can be ordered online and I post nationwide. A gift box contains 8 beautifully wrapped brownies and costs from £15.99-£17.99 with free delivery. I also create decorated brownie towers for weddings and events.
Were you always a keen baker growing up? Who did you master your baking skills from?
I always loved to bake from an early age. I think it began when I received a children’s cookbook for my 6th birthday. I still have it to this day. It has some amazing 1970’s photos and recipes in it! I taught myself how to bake simply by following the recipes.
Who’s your favourite baker?
Although my business is in sweet bakery, I actually really love to bake bread and recently discovered Chad Robertson who has an amazing bakery in America called Tartine, his recipes are fantastic. I’d love to visit one day.
Are you a Great British Bake Off fan?
I LOVE THE GREAT BRITISH BAKEOFF! I’m so excited it’s about to start again. I didn’t start watching it until a couple of years ago when one of my friends said ‘I can’t believe YOU don’t watch it’, so I sat down one night when a new series was starting and have been hooked ever since. I think the new presenters are doing a brilliant job and it doesn’t feel too different from the original series.
Other than brownies…what do you enjoy baking?
As I mentioned before, bread is a big passion. I have a sourdough starter that someone bought back from a bakery in Canada and gave me. I think that was one of the best presents I’ve ever been given! I just generally enjoy cooking.
Congrats on winning Taste of West 2017 & 2015 – what did it feel like to win gold? And has anyone famous bought your brownies?
I was so excited when I won my first Gold award as it came just 2 months after I started my business. It was confirmation that I’d done the right thing! Winning the second Gold was equally exciting and I’ve also won a Highly Commended award this year for my Toasted Hazelnut Praline Brownie. As for famous people, I can’t reveal too much at this stage but I did get an order from a very important household recently. Watch this space…
So, what’s next for Bayside Bakery? Do you have any ideas for the future & which direction would you like to take your business in?
I’m always looking at new flavours and products I can introduce to my range. Just before Christmas I brought out my brownie mix jars which have proved really popular. I have a few other products I’m working on right now. The business has really boomed, in the last year particularly and we have just finished an extension on our home to give me a dedicated bakery space so the sky’s the limit now!
Where can we taste your lovely Bayside Bakery Brownies other than the website?
I am in the fabulous Bridport Market twice a week and supply various cafes locally as well as a new dessert bar Granny Gothards which has just opened in Budleigh Salterton. If you find and like my Facebook page bayside baker I always list what food shows and events I will be attending on there and you can find me over on Instagram @baysidebaker and Twitter @baysidebaker too.
Katy papped by me in action at the Dorset Food & Arts Festival 2018
Thank you Katy for taking part in the Country Bumpkin Chic blog interview..I’m looking forward to tasting some of the new flavours this autumn!