Mark’s Bread, Bedminster

Mark’s Bread, Bedminster
Company: Mark’s Bread
Business: Artisan/craft bakery
Address: 291 North Street, Southville, Bristol BS3 1JU
Tel: 07910 979 384
Owner: Mark Newman

Mark’s Bread was established in 2009 by Mark Newman. It bakes and sells a wide range of breads including sourdough, rye and spelt loaves, wholemeal, baguette and ciabatta, cakes, croissants and buns. The bakery’s customers are local residents and businesses including the Tobacco Factory Theatre, Riverside Garden Centre, Hen & Chicken Pub. The bakery sells to around 300 customers per day, alongside 5 wholesale customers.

The bakery employs 6 staff and has a turnover of £12-16k per month. They sell between 200 and 500 loaves per week in addition to cakes and croissants. Mark’s prices range from £1.90 for a basic white loaf to £3.50 for specialist breads. He has been marketing his baked goods via his bakery shop and website, positive media coverage and word of mouth. Currently all sales are generated within the Bristol area, but Mark is considering repeating his bakery model elsewhere in the region.

Mark sources local organic flour from Shipton Mill in Gloucestershire. For specialist breads the nuts, seeds and spices are sourced from Essential Trading in Bristol, olives from the Real Olive Co, olive oil from Kassare, local free range eggs for cakes are from a local producer and catering dry goods from Burtons Go Bananas at Avonmouth. Local sourcing and sustainability are very important to both Mark and his customers. Recently he invested £2k in a Dutch delivery bicycle and trailer so the shop can deliver larger orders of baked goods to its customers in south and central Bristol in a sustainable way while beating the traffic. Despite Bristol being a ‘Cycling City’ he was not able to secure funding towards the cost of the bike.

Mark established the bakery in response to the resurgence of public interest in ‘real bread’. Despite the recession reducing disposable income, his customers are choosing to buy good quality organic bread from a local bakery that offers a welcoming shop and personal service from friendly staff. Mark regards Bristol communities as offering a ‘critical mass of interest in local food’ and a market that offers opportunities for new local bakeries. He benefited from start-up business support from Brave Enterprise Agency and Business Links. In addition, he organized his own apprentice baker’s training with Shipton Mill and business mentoring from Paul Merry a master baker from Shaftsbury. Mark believes his bakery plays an important role in feeding Bristol by providing ‘high quality, nutritious healthy bread at affordable prices’ as an alternative to mass produced supermarket bread.

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