When we moved our business and entire life to Norwich in 2016 people thought we were mad.
We had a super-successful, award-winning business in South Wales supplying prestigious customers like Whole Foods Market and Planet Organic and we were one of the most innovative bread companies in the world at the time. We were making organic sourdough with 100% Einkorn and Emmer before other bakeries were even starting their first mother cultures and using organic grain.
Nevertheless, a rolling stone gathers no moss, so keeping ourselves challenged and growing meant we began searching for the perfect place to open our dream sourdough bakery and café and once we came to Norwich we knew that, if it was going to work anywhere, it would work here.
Once the move and construction were eventually complete and we finally opened in Norwich, once again, people thought we were mad.
I still remember the reaction on the faces of passers-by when soon after opening, I toast-bombed them with hot buttered sourdough to encourage them to pop in and see what we were all about. “You’ve taken a big risk here!” “What a big investment you’ve made…” “Don’t you sell any normal bread?” were all questions and comments we heard almost daily.
Despite this, we got to know you and you got to know us and between us we made Timberhill Bakery more than Natalie and I ever dreamed it could be. I remember the long-studied spreadsheet before signing the lease, and agonising as to whether we could hit our “Break even” sales target, let alone our “Medium” or even “High”.
We needn’t have worried. After a couple of months Norwich quickly warmed to what we were trying to achieve, and even if we didn’t always nail it in the early days you kept us going with encouragement, support and, (a big one this), constructive criticism.
Four and half years later, the stone has stopped rolling and our personal development has begun to slow down. Having achieved everything we ever imagined in Timberhill, we need a new challenge to keep us sharp, keep us fresh and keep us growing personally.
As many of you know that new challenge is to teach others how we bake and we’ve been trying to write our first book for over 6 months now alongside the full-on experience of keeping Timberhill pumping. Even though we’ve reduced our opening hours to free up time we hugely underestimated how many of you would switch the days you visited us.
We’ve been so busy on the 2 days a week that we’re spending almost all of Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday preparing and making stock for Friday and Saturday, and book development has ground to a halt again.
So we’ve taken the tough decision to hand over the bakery to another business who have the management structure in place to be able to expand the product range, opening hours and opening days of the week.
So from 1st February Two Magpies Bakery will take over the bakery on Timberhill and they will also welcome our staff as part of their much bigger team so they all get to keep their jobs. Two Magpies have their own idea of what a bakery-café looks like, and they are super excited to be opening their first Norwich outlet.
We appreciate that change is difficult so some of you might not view this as great news. Nevertheless, we hope you respect where we’re coming from and hope we’ve earned enough respect by now that you don’t think we’re mad, all over again. . .
It has been one hell of a ride and an absolute pleasure to have served every one of you. Thanks once again for all your support. Please stay in touch with our book and other new developments by subscribing on our website to email updates. We will now have the time to have things to report and the time to keep you updated of everything we’re up to.
Lots of love
Mike and Nat