The shop has been in the family since the late 1950s – I’ve worked there since almost as soon as I could walk. My grandfather first ran it – most of the recipes we use today are from my grandfather!
Then my Dad returned from the Army in 1962 and eventually took it on. I love working in the shop, hearing all the gossip, seeing all the happy people of Bookham and catching up on a daily basis with customers I’ve known for years.
Many people have fond memories of popping in for hot bread or hot pies and pasties.
Whilst everyone is fast asleep in their beds, my day starts at 2.30 – 3am! I turn on the ovens and get all the morning goods ready to cook. The night baker – often my father – has been in to make all the bread and rolls that are freshly made and baked daily.
The shop door opens by 430am, ready for another day of fine breaded goods to keep all the locals going throughout their day ahead. We are the only bakery in the village and none of the bread or rolls have ever seen a freezer – everything you buy in the day is made fresh throughout the night.
In the back of the shop sit all of our busy ovens. Just behind those are the original ovens that date back to the 1910s, if not earlier. Unfortunately there was a fire around 25 years ago, the fire brigade came out and saw smoke coming out of one of the chimneys – so they filled it with water, without realising they were ovens and the devastation it would cause: as a result the ovens swelled beyond use and could never be used again. But the building they are in is listed, so still sit there today.
The shop then shuts up at 5pm on most days (2pm on Wednesday and 1pm on Saturday), but people are more than welcome to try around the back and we will serve you anytime!