One morning last week I popped into Joe’s Bakery in Bishopston for an exciting behind the scenes tour.
Joe’s Bakery has been owned and run by Jane and Martin Hunt for an impressive 27 years, however, it has actually been running and serving the local community for over 130 years!
It is also one of the very few last working bakeries in Bristol, freshly baking all of the products it offers.
Joe’s Bakery has won well-deserved awards in recent years, securing the prestigious Bristol Good Food Awards 2014 for its amazing cakes and also winning two silver awards at the Royal Bath & West Show Bread Competition: one for the bakery’s renowned sour dough and one for the bakery’s bloomer in the Classic British White Category!
In recent years Jane and Martin have also added Joe’s Express to the bakery; a place to pop in to buy a tasty sandwich or freshly prepared salad while on the go.
I have been a regular at Joe’s Bakery for many a year but this was the first time I had ever stepped foot behind the shop part of the bakery.
I was amazed at the sheer size of it; it extends far beyond the shop part of the bakery and is a busy hive of activity behind the scenes!
Jane told me that a day’s work at Joe’s Bakery begins at 2am and then continues throughout the day, ensuring that there is a ready supply of freshly baked breads, pies, pasties, rolls, onion bhajis, samosas, cakes and much more on offer.
While retaining its traditional roots, Joes’ Bakery has moved with the times and kept up to date with the local community’s changing tastes and requirements of what they want in a bakery.
For example, along with its range of Classic Breads such as White, Stoneground Wholemeal and Malthouse, Joe’s also offers freshly baked Artisan Breads including a range of Sourdough bread, which has Eastern European roots, plus Italian breads such as Focaccia and Ciabatta.
Joe’s also offers delicious Artisan Confectionary such as Sicilian Cannoli: delicious fried pastry made with butter, egg and white wine and then filled with a lightly vanilla flavoured ricotta frosting.
Joe’s Bakery also bakes a range of Craft Confectionary and Craft breads, including Split tins, Maltflake tin, White Flat tins and Farmhouse, Parisienne, crusty and soft cob rolls – all freshly baked on the premises, of course.
To help the Bakery to keep up to date with changing times and tastes, Jane explained to me that she and Martin regularly send their bakers to cooking schools in countries such as Belgium and Germany, enabling them to learn new skills and to inspire them with new ideas on their return.
While I was there I watched one of the bakers make some Focaccia with Kalamata olives which was then baked in one of the bakery ovens ready to be sold later that morning.
I also watched lots of other delicious treats being created behind the scenes, for example Croissants and Pain Traditional Bread (the latter which I enjoyed later for my lunch!).
If you have not yet visited Joe’s Bakery, I recommend popping in!
It it is open Monday to Friday 7am – 7pm and on Saturdays 7am – 5pm and is 240 – 242 Gloucester Road, Bishopston BS7 8NZ.
For more information about Joe’s Bakery please visit http://www.joesbakery.co.uk/.