One of the latest additions to Reepham’s weekly market is proving there is a distinct hunger for artisan products.
Bread Source, a new wholesale bakery with “bread quarters” at Horsham St Faith, has been trading at the Wednesday market in Reepham since early January and trade has been nothing short of brisk, with queues forming at busy times and a loyal customer base already building.
The business started in November 2012, initially supplying bread wholesale to such customers as HFG Farm Shop of Beeston St Andrew on the North Walsham Road just outside Norwich.
But Bread Source has quickly expanded by taking stalls at markets in mid and north Norfolk, including Dereham (Tuesday and Friday), Fakenham (Thursday) and Sheringham (Friday).
Owner Steven Winter was advised by customers at Fakenham to give Reepham a try. “We never had a plan to go into markets; they just evolved,” he said. “Reepham is definitely one of our favourite markets and we’ve had to increase our stocks to cope with demand.”
Assisted by Joe Trewellard, Mr Winter had previously run the Union Yard café in Norwich city centre since January 2012, but was forced to close the tea and coffee bar in October after a steep rise in business rates and high overheads.
“As well as having a far lower cost base, running a market stall is certainly a great way to talk with customers,” he said. “There is certainly a renewed interest in bread, but we’ve had to provide something that is different.”
With growing disenchantment with the plastic-wrapped processed sliced loaf from supermarkets, people are now prepared to pay £3 and more for a loaf of bread – even in the current economic downturn.
Bread Source bakes and sells a full range of breads from sourdoughs through to traditional British tin loafs, as well as French, Italian and German-style breads, Chelsea buns, fruit loafs, baguettes, croissants, pizzas and focaccias.
“Hopefully, the interest we seem to have generated will encourage other market traders. This in turn will bring more people into the Market Place, which can only benefit local shops,” said Mr Winter, who is now looking at the possibility of renting a small retail unit in market towns such as Reepham.
Bread Source, A5 Abbey Farm, Southwell Road, Horsham St Faith, Norwich NR10 3JU. Tel: 01603 898503