Back in my home town this Saturday for Gorseinon Food Festival. This was the town where my grandfather, John Lewington Sweetman first started baking back in 1954. Almost 60 years later, I hope to do the spirit of "Sweetmans Bakery" proud.
Back in 1997 I worked for Dixons Group (owner of PC World, Currys, The Link and Dixons), a massive £5bn turnover, multi-national FTSE-100 mega-corp. I wanted the full-fat corporate experience and that's exactly what I got.
My job was to improve the business through identifying opportunites (easy and fun) and making them happen (bloody hard and very frustrating). Dixons started out as a true entrepreneurial business, with instinctive decision making and a bucanneering style of "JFDI". Sir Stanley Kalms makes Alan Sugar look like an intern.
As the 1990s ended, it had gone stale, and growth had stagnated. Most of the 2500 people working in head office (that is not a typo) were manager-mentality. Don't rock the boat, don't risk new things. Avoid failure at all costs.
I used to hear the phrase "If it ain't broke, don't fix it", an awful lot.
Why wait until something's broken to make it better?
Our Walnut sourdough is a great loaf (it won a True Taste award last year) but a few tweaks later, it's now it's even better. Tweak Tweak.
Great local food festival tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday in a local town, Neath.
Pulling out all the stops by baking lots of loaves so hope it's busy or I'll be ringing my mate Iolo and swapping stale bread to feed his chickens, with eggs they've laid, and eating eggs on toast for the next 3 weeks....
If you're fed up of rolls like these (above) then come visit us at Usk Farmer's Market, this Saturday 1st Sept, and try some of our real rustic rolls. Natalie is manning the stall - pop along to say hi.
Hot and sticky in the bakery this week. All the ferments are bubbling like crazy and the air is thick with sourness. Gotta watch the prove closely as it's a fine line between just right and overproved in this weather...Oooh, the danger