Tuesday, 29 January 2013

FIELD NOTES: Joanna Brennan, Pump Street Bakery, Orford Suffolk

Writing for a living can be a pretty lonely occupation, but the pay-off is that you get to pick the brains of and be inspired by some pretty awesome people who have done some pretty awesome things. Like Joanna Brennan at Pump Street Bakery who quit her job as a speech therapist in London and moved to rural Suffolk to set up a café and bakery with her Dad, Chris, a hobby baker who’d spent 30 years in IT. Two years of hard-slog later, and they’ve just picked up Best Food Producer 2012 at the BBC Food and Farming Awards – quite an achievement for a pair whose only culinary training has been a lifelong passion for good, honest food. You can read the full story and see some mouth-watering photos of the pastries and bread that I could have gorged on until next Christmas, in this month’s Country Living Magazine (February 2013), which incidentally also includes a handy guide for anyone inspired by Jo’s story. But, aside from Chris’s simply incredible Eccles Cakes that I’ve been obsessing about since my visit last autumn, let me just quickly share with you one other thing that’s stuck with me from my trip. I asked Jo why she thought Pump Street has been so successful, when so many established businesses were struggling. “Because we didn’t do it for the money, we did it because it was something we really cared about,” she said, squinting in the sunshine as we chatted outside the pink-washed café over which she now lives.  “If you want to succeed at something, you’ve got to put your heart into it. People respond to that.”
Jo’s answering questions on starting your dream café/bakery today from 1-2pm on the Country Living forum 

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