A SUNDERLAND bakery is on the rise after moving into new premises to keep up with demand.
Artful Baker also aims to double its workforce by the end of the year from nine to 18.
The Artful Baker supplies handmade bread and bakery products to hotels, restaurants and cafes across the North East, and opened a shop in Church Street, Seaham last December on the site of a former Peter’s Bakery.
The business moved into a new bakery unit in Hendon, Sunderland, which is three times bigger than its previous site in Houghton last November. It is now recruiting additional bakery and kitchen porter staff.
Owner Roger Dickson, who started the business in the back of a friend’s shop, said: “I didn’t have a penny to start the business. I used someone else’s flour and yeast and paid for them as I sold the bread.
“We hand-make bread, pies, pasties, quiches, cakes, desserts on site, and make all our own pastry and pie fillings. It’s ‘real’ bread made from flour, yeast and water, not commercial churned out bread.”
The Artful Baker’s range of speciality breads, including black pudding, roasted tomato and garlic, cheddar and thyme and chilli and paprika, are proving especially popular with hotel and restaurant customers such as Seaham Hall.
A performing arts graduate who has also worked in sales, Roger learned his trade in the kitchens of gastro pubs in London and working in Switzerland. He has cooked for Prince Andrew and celebrity customers including entrepreneur and TV Dragon Peter Jones.
Roger has worked with Sunderland City Council’s business investment team to grow the business.
Sunderland City Council leader, Councillor Paul Watson, said: “We are pleased to have played a part in The Artful Baker’s expansion and are delighted to hear about the business’s plans to recruit extra staff and grow further. Sunderland is an ideal location to build and grow a business, and the council can help ambitious entrepreneurs like Roger to reach their goals through advice and long-term support provided by our business investment team.”