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Matthew Rideout

Turning a passion for baking into a thriving business

Created on November 30, 2020

After a long career in finance, Matthew Rideout is swapping life in the city to turn his passion for baking into a thriving business.

The 55-year-old chartered accountant has big ambitions to create a bakery that is at the hub of the community, bringing together food producers that share his ethos.

Currently studying for the Advanced Diploma in Artisan Food at The School of Artisan Food, this is Matthew’s story so far …

“I grew up in Hertfordshire, 25 miles north of London, and worked in and around London with a stint in Spain.

“I had always had the ambition to run my own business. I trained as a chartered accountant during the early 1990s and went on to work with entrepreneurial businesses. Initially I was in corporate finance, working with industry-leading management teams, developing the strategy, identifying targets and negotiating deals to raise finance.

“I then moved into private equity, funding similar transactions, on the way to raising funds myself and building a support services group. It was a phenomenal journey and learning experience, taking something from an idea to a £45m turnover business. Sadly, in the chaos of the financial crisis of 2008/9, we lost control of the business to the bank.”

Career break

“After that I worked with a number of entrepreneurs on new businesses and then took a career break to manage the Alzheimer’s care for my mother. While managing her care, I had been toying with the idea of a food related business, aimed at becoming a community hub. The idea came from seeing how transformational it was for the village, when the community started to run the village shop.

“It brought the village together, people started talking to each other, support groups developed and it engaged the villagers and changed their lives for the better. After my mother passed away, I was tempted back into a fantastic job in the City and those plans got put on hold.

“Three years and two jobs later, and absolutely stunned at the lack of ethics prevalent in the City, I decided it was somewhere I couldn’t work anymore and my journey into baking began.

“After completing the Advanced Diploma, I hope to start my own bakery, built on honesty and transparency. It will be a bakery with exceptional small batch sourdough products, fabulous provenance of ingredients and a focal point in the community. I hope to bring other food producers together, reflecting the same passion and ethos.”

If you would like to find out more about our Advanced Diploma in Artisan Baking, read on.

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