There is nothing quite like the smell of freshly baked bread in the morning, complete with a steaming cup of coffee. For some, walking through the village to collect a loaf of bread, still warm, is a much-loved morning ritual, and it's not hard to see why. Those who are lucky enough to live in the South West can go on their morning stroll to one of the five Hobbs House Bakeries scattered across Somerset and the Cotswolds, who sell an exceptional range of high quality handmade breads like various flavours and sizes of sourdoughs, burger buns and pizza balls, to pastries and confectionery.
Founded in 1920, Hobbs House Bakery is a family-run business founded in the heart of the Cotswolds and the business has recently celebrated 100 years of baking, built on five generations of baking experience, and with a sixth generation already with ‘flour on their fingers’.
Hobbs House Bakery aims to be as local and sustainable as possible in all aspects of their business, underlined in what they call ‘our flour footprint’. They are the first British bakery to become a certified B Corporation, an international movement that distinguishes businesses that meet the highest standards of social and environmental performances, balancing profit and purpose.
“It’s brilliant to be working with Pipers Farm, who are equally committed to using good, simple quality ingredients that are produced with sustainable and ethical values."
The majority of the flour Hobbs House Bakery uses in their baking products comes from their local mill, Shipton Mill, just 15 miles down the road in Tetbury, Gloucestershire. The history between Hobbs House Bakery and Shipton Mill started over 50 years ago, at a time when most bread in the United Kingdom was made with American wheat and British flour was rather hard to come by. It was then in the 1970s that the Herbert family took the decision to mill their own flour to use in their bread. Come the early 1990s, demand rose so much that they decided to stop milling and buy in what they needed from the newly acquired Shipton Mill down the road that had been purchased by a man called John Lister. John had also bought the Herbert’s mill at the same time, and since then has worked closely with them as life-long business partners and friends.
Shipton Mill sources their grains considerately from local farms and suppliers that align with their agro-ecological principles, and whose product provides a beneficial effect on both nutrition and the land. The grain ground at Shipton Mill produces high-quality flours that are rich in both texture and flavour and are renowned in both professional circles and home-bakers across the country.
Alongside sourcing their flours locally and sustainably, Hobbs House Bakery sources their coffee, tea, and other food supplies, from within a maximum radius of 25 miles. They also focus on minimizing their use of plastic and wastage, selling compostable bags to customers and aiming to recycle at least 75% of their non-bread waste. No bread is wasted either, supporting the Real Bread Campaign’s No Loaf Lost that ensures their bread is always achieving positive things. For example, Hobbs House Bakery donates their surplus bread to local charities – 250 loaves a week to local food banks, NHS staff and charities like FareShare. In the past, they have also collaborated with breweries like Wiper and True in Bristol, Stroud Brewery, and Toast Ales, donating surplus bread to make delicious brews.
To celebrate their centenary, Hobbs House Bakery has poured one hundred years and five generations of baking knowledge into a new Organic Heritage Sourdough. The loaf uses organic, award-winning heritage wheat flour from Shipton Mill; a blend of heritage wheat varieties grown locally in Tetbury, using the traditional stone-ground method. This Organic Heritage Sourdough is crafted with toasted sunflower seeds and Organic Rye Flour. The starter they use for all of their sourdoughs has it’s origins dating back 65 years ago when it was brought over from Germany by a local baker in Tetbury, who then gave it to the Herbert family in the early 1960s. Refreshed everyday, the starter is made up of organic rye flour and water, giving their breads a real taste history.
The popular pastries sold by Pipers Farm are frozen fresh pastry, so the customer can have that authentic bakery experience when cooking them in the oven *cue wafts of warm, fresh pastry smells filling the room*. Hobbs House Bakery even went to the extent of inviting in French bakery apprentices to Hobbs House Bakery teach their bakers how to make the best, authentic pastries. Alongside the pastries, their pizza dough is a real winner, made simply from three ingredients (flour, salt and water) and using the famous Hobbs House Bakery sourdough starter.
Hobbs House Bakery also encourage anyone to get involved in baking through their various cookery courses, from beginner courses to pie making courses. They also sell baking equipment to bake at home and suggest innovative ways of being sustainable with bread – how to preserve fresh bread; simply slice the loaf of bread before freezing it in an airtight paper bag or cling film, and when consumed, simply pop each slice of frozen bread into the toaster.
Hobbs House Bakery is passionate about spreading the word about real bread, and with five generations of baking knowledge using the very best, local ingredients, their team of expert bakers continue to produce an excellent range of breads, pastries and confectionery.
You can view our full range of Hobbs House Bakery items here