A family has taken on a new venture by opening up a bakery on a high street.
Ben Herbert along with parents Paul and Jennie have launched artisan bakery and coffee house Flour & Co Bakehouse on Eccleshall High Street.
Ben previously ran The Gingerbread Men bakery in Eccleshall which was hidden away off the high street and known as the smallest bakery in the UK.
But the family, who also live in Eccleshall, recently decided to take the plunge together and expand by taking on the former Guys & Dolls Hair and Beauty Salon.
Twenty-two-year-old Ben first got into cooking and baking around nine years ago after starting off as a pot washer at a local pub.
He trained at the University College Birmingham college for three years in advanced professional cookery before working in London for just over a year at places like Michelin starred The Westbury Mayfair hotel restaurant and London’s oldest restaurant the Wiltons Restaurant in Jermyn Street, Piccadilly.
Once back in Eccleshall he came across a sign saying ‘bakery for rent’ so thought he would have a go. That’s how he came to open The Gingerbread Men bakery in February 2019 before taking on his new venture of being the baker and director at Flour & Co Bakehouse.
The new bakery allows Ben to put his experience to use and add his own individual stamp on the artisan products he is now making – from artisan bread and pastries to cakes and soon to be lunch items with locally sourced ingredients alongside coffee made from exclusive coffee bean blends.
The hakehouse opened its doors to trade customers at the beginning of March, but it wasn’t until mid May when the refurbishment was complete that it began offering takeaway to the public.
The shop has seating for 30 people, but with the UK in lockdown due to the coronavirus they are only able to offer takeaway at this stage.
Ben said: “I have always had a strong creative interest in cooking, I like to excel in everything I make. It is all about the taste, the texture and the appearance. With my training at a high standard, this is my chance now to showcase what I can do.
“We decided as a family to expand and when 3 High Street became available we jumped at the opportunity.
“We have worked so hard in refurbishing the place to a high standard and are a true artisan bakehouse. Nowhere resembles this locally at all and we have big plans.”