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Flintshire Chronicle October 2009

A rising star. Oct 8 2009 by Jo Henwood, Flintshire Chronicle

Jane Tomlin describes herself as a ‘hobby’ baker yet businesses and foodies clamour to get hold of her handmade bread. JO HENWOOD talks to her as she prepares batches of tea cakes in her mother’s kitchen.

Farmers markets, delicatessens, butchers and cheese shops are just some of the places you will be lucky enough to pick up a freshly baked loaf of Jane Tomlin’s handmade bread.

Unbleached white, 100% wholemeal, stoneground spelt with olives and fougasses are just some of the loaves Jane will slave over throughout the night to provide her customers with the freshest bread on the market.

“I finish my day job and then work throughout the night so that my bread is fresh,” she says.

“I’m invariably late to my stall on the market but I often have a queue waiting for me and many of them are regular customers.”

Jane is originally from Chester and moved back to the area about two years ago when she first started making bread to sell.

“I realised that I didn’t really know anyone here anymore and baking my bread has been a good way to get back in to the community.”

She admits that it will not make her a fortune.

“I am really a hobby baker working on a micro scale,” she said. “It was meant to only be one day a week but I’m not very good at saying no and I devote more and more time to it.

“People like to be able to connect with their food and to get to know the producer.

“If I expanded it wouldn’t be truly handmade.”

The regular loaves are approximately 540g and cost from £1.60 – £2, depending on the recipe. She also makes hot dog rolls, ‘squidgy’ white baps and ‘proper’ teacakes.

She also makes a special Bunbury loaf from stoneground, wholemeal flour milled in a restored water mill in Bunbury topped with Bunbury stoneground oatmeal.

Jane has seasonal demands and at Christmas time makes 100% rye pumpernickel bread and stollen and special bread baskets for Easter.

Hobby or not, Jane has been nominated as a Local Food Hero as part of the Good Food cookery show, Market Kitchen.

This is the second year running that Jane has been nominated for the prize of £5,000 and if she wins she will invest in a delivery van.