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Posted on September 14, 2017
A batch of fresh baking graduates from The School of Artisan Food - dubbed Hogwarts for Bakers - will be feeding the increase in demand in the UK for artisan bread.
These rising stars of the baking world will be taking the baking and business skills learnt on the UK’s only FDQ-accredited Advanced Diploma in Baking to set up their own micro-bakeries.
Several of the graduates from the 10-month diploma completed in July this year are already well on the way to realising their dream of running their own artisan food business.
Lorna Rayment, 36, from Hertfordshire, swapped a career in marketing to turn her passion into more than a hobby. Now employed at the Modern Baker in Oxford, she is working towards launching her own bakery business next year.
“The course has given me the skills and confidence to walk into a bakery environment and understand how it works and what I need to do. The school has been nothing but supportive along the way - they are truly committed to giving the best to their students and to the industry. To learn at the school is to totally immerse yourself in the world of artisan food and surround yourself with industry experts.”
Illustrator Ameena Nur, 27, is in the process of setting up her bakery - Jeju’s Bakehouse - in her home town of Maybole, Scotland with the aim of selling at food markets and to wholesale clients. Her ultimate goal is to set up a bakery in Glasgow.
The diploma gave her a massive injection of self belief and she found herself captivated by the possibilities of the bread-making processes.
“Wayne Caddy, our bread tutor, or ‘Daddy Caddy’ as we like to call him, is an inspiration. His endless patience and infectious enthusiasm shone through with each lesson, and I learned more from Daddy Caddy in a few months than I did from any tutor over the course of four years at university.
“The business studies were extremely daunting to me, as I have no prior experience in the field. Once again, I marvelled at the amount of information I received and managed to retain over the course of the year. Yvonne O’ Donovan [business tutor] has a ridiculously difficult job and she will make sure to push her students in the right direction to help them achieve things they did not know they were capable of.”
Former printer Robbie Livingstone, 36, Sheffield, took up the diploma after being made redundant and finding himself at a crossroads. Having always dreamt of opening his own cafe, he is now on his way to creating his own line of baked goods to sell at farmers’ markets and credits the course for giving him the foundations to set up his own business.
“Wayne [baking tutor] taught us how to be thinking bakers. He always said that if you understand the science behind baking and the processes, then you are able to fix any problems. It really gave me massive inspiration and unlocked my creativity. As someone who hasn’t been in education for 18 years, this was a big breakthrough for me.”
The star bakers of the future are being urged to make sure they have both the baking and business skills they’ll need for a future in the food industry by The School of Artisan Food, by taking up one of the few remaining places on the UK’s only FDQ-accredited Advanced Diploma in Baking starting on 25 September.
Growing interest in professional bakery has been supported in recent years by the popularity of programmes such as the Great British Bake Off but the baking industry has been struggling to recruit a fresh stream of talent.
The Advanced Diploma in Baking teaches the skills so highly prized by many of the country’s leading chefs, restaurants and food businesses. Featuring tuition from experts such as Wayne Caddy, Mickael Jahan and Graham and Rose Dunton, the 10-month, full-time course includes the opportunity to explore setting up an artisan business and is equivalent to Foundation Degree Level.