SWEET, FRUITY PIE

When you are a butcher and you open a bakery sideline, you are always going to be taking great risks. However, the prospect feels much less daunting if there is no bakery in your location and that is exactly the case in the village of Bradwell in Norfolk, just south of the coastal resort of Great Yarmouth.

Established butcher Andrew Edmonds, whose shop, Bradwell Butchery, has been on the same site since 1986, took over a neighbouring premises last year to expand into a bakery and delicatessen. Not only has Andrew seen his sales increase by 40% year-on-year, he has also been able to take on more staff, and the shop was crowned Midlands & East of England winner at November's Butcher's Shop of the Year awards.

Bradwell gets an average 1,500 customers a week: pretty impressive when the village is overshadowed by bigger neighbours Gorleston and Great Yarmouth. This volume of customers requires a lot of baking, which is undertaken by Richard Patterson and his colleague, Robin. "It's just the two of us doing the baking," says Richard, who has been a baker since the age of 14.

Before the expansion, Richard came in one day a week to help with meat pies, but he became full-time when the bakery and delicatessen opened in 2009. Everything is made on site: from the gingerbread men, cream buns and mince pies to cookies, rolls and sandwiches. It is an impressive selection, and is a testament to Richard and Robin's hard work, as well as Andrew's initiative to expand.

Bradwell's bakery makes a range of pies from cherry, apple, strawberry and rhubarb, or a mix of fruits such as strawberry and apple. They retail at 2.08 for a large pie and 75p for a smaller version. The pies are simple to make and do not require much kit other than a bakery mixer, scales and an oven. "Our Hobart mixer is ideal for pastries and cakes. We put it on a slow speed to start," adds Richard.

Bradwell's bakers use a marble worktop, which makes it easier to roll out dough, and Richard waxes lyrical about it. Little touches like this are what make Bradwell Butchery that little bit special.


FRUIT PIE

Ingredients

Makes 1 batch (about 12)

Flour4,500kg

Shortening2,500kg

Cold water1 pint

Sugar1,000kg

Fruit filling270kg per pie

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