From baking in his mother’s kitchen, to running an enterprising Bakery that continues to grow – the last 14 years have been anything but quiet for Tom Hazzledine.
Tom’s passion for traditional baking and excitement for new flavours has made Baker Tom’s Bread what it is today; a much loved favourite with our loyal customers. We now have five shops, two cafes and a fleet of vans, delivering award winning bread to businesses across the South West of England.
It’s hard to believe it all started with two loaves of bread on Tom’s bike, but here’s how it all began…
At the age of 23, Tom returned from a gap year in India and worked at a local farm shop to help fund his college course. One day, the shop was let down by its bread supplier. Tom went home, picked up a recipe book and baked a couple of loaves on his mother’s kitchen counter. He biked the bread back to the farm shop and the bread sold out.
Tom started to bake loaves for the shop each day and it wasn’t long before word spread and demand for Tom’s delicious bread started to rise. Soon production outgrew the kitchen counter (much to his mother’s relief)! and Tom was on the look out for somewhere larger. No stranger to entrepreneurial ideas, Tom saw there was a gap in the market for traditional, wholesome, flavoursome bread in Cornwall. He took the leap and his Baker Tom business began.
Tom moved to a small bakery unit, and, with the help of a small van, he delivered to farmers markets and farm shops nearby. Baker Tom’s Bread was now truly fledged. Working long hours baking by night and early mornings delivering, Tom’s hard work had only just begun.
Wholesale enquiries steadily rose, and with a few bigger customers coming on board, things went from strength to strength. Tom realised he couldn’t do it alone, and the time had come to start building a team around him that could help grow the now flourishing business.
2007 saw Tom take the next big step, he brought his bread to the City of Truro and opened his first retail shop in Lemon Street Market.
This allowed Tom to showcase his growing range of organic loaves, speciality breads, seasonal specials, cakes and pastries now on offer. The opening of his shops in Falmouth, Pool, Wadebridge and Penzance followed in the years after. 2019 saw the arrival of Baker Tom’s latest shop in St Austell.
With his current bakery no longer able to cope with the demand of the growing new contracts, Tom moved production to a new unit in Redruth in central Cornwall.
An exciting time for the business: new speciality bakers and drivers joined the team – helping Tom deliver more products to customers across the county, and also stocking his growing number of shops. Indeed, it wasn’t long before the Bakery would once again be on the move to a larger site in Wilson Way in Pool, our home today.
In 2012 Tom decided to make the new bakery on Wilson Way a 24 hour business, opening The Bakery Café. The Café opens up for the day as the night bakers head for home. Fresh croissants line the counter and an aroma or freshly baked bread fills the air. This bustling hub is the beating heart of the Baker Tom business; busy by day and by night. Night sees the Bakery transform into a working kitchen, as the night bakers craft our organic loaves ready for customers the next day.
Today Tom has five shops across Cornwall and a fleet of vans delivering Baker Tom’s Bread to farm shops, independent retailers, restaurants, cafes, pubs, hotels, caterers, street food vans and food box schemes, such as Cornish Food Box, across the South West and further afield. The Bakery is also the packing, logistics, accounts, marketing & sales and retail hub of the business.
Whilst the business has continued to steadily rise, the baking techniques have remained the same as the traditional ones Tom used in his mum’s kitchen. All our breads are crafted by hand by Tom’s team of specialist bakers, without the addition of any improvers or additives; producing wholesome bread that’s full of flavour.
This traditional approach has seen our loaves receive the highest of accolades; in 2019 our Organic White Loaf and won gold in the Taste of the West Awards and our Rosemary and Sea Salt Focaccia won gold at the Great British Food Awards.
So, what’s next for Baker Tom’s Bread? With a notebook crammed full of new ideas for products and the business, and now a growing family as well as a thriving business, Tom isn’t ready to hang up his apron just yet. 2020 has already seen new customers, new products and an extended bakery and capacity at Wilson Way. We can’t wait to see what’s in store, watch this space to see the next chapter unfold.