Each month we profile a family business to see how the baking craft has passed down through the generations. This month, the story of Lough’s, where the home fires have burned strong for 70 years.
Brothers William and Peter Lough went into the bakery business in 1947, but there has been a bakery on the Eyemouth site in Berwickshire since 1902. The original coal-fed masonry oven is still there and, until recently, was used full-time. “We bought a new electric deck oven in 2004,” says Reece Lough, William and Peter’s great-grandson. “The old one had to be coked several times during the night, so the upgrade made day-to-day work a lot quicker.”
Every generation of the Lough family has lived in the house above the bakery, which Reece says was a fantastic way to grow up: “You can’t think of anything better than being woken up by the smell of freshly baked breads rising from the ovens.”
A year after William and Peter founded the business, then known as Lough Bros, Peter emigrated to America with his wife and family. In California he set up a bakery business called Lough’s Cake Box, which sold speciality cakes and bespoke wedding cakes. William remained in Eyemouth, and changed the name of the business to Lough’s Home Bakery.
After William died, his son Jim and daughter-in-law Ann took the reins. Jim only made one type of morning roll, using a heavy dough left overnight on the bakery table to rise, which made it more chewy and dense. The rolls were nicknamed ‘Wimps’ for reasons no one can remember, and to this day the bakery still makes a small batch of Wimps rolls “which loyal customers still adore”.
When Jim passed away in 1996, Ann and her son Richard, who had taken bakery studies at Telford College, Edinburgh, took charge together. Richard still works in the bakery with Ann, now 75, his daughter Clare and son, Reece, who says he hopes to take over the business one day. The front-of-shop staff include Richard’s wife Hilda, and Reece’s partner Kyla.
Reece says though each generation has put its mark on the bakery, most of the significant changes came from his father Richard. “He introduced a far wider selection – we now boast over 20 different types and styles of fresh, home-baked breads and scones, and a counter full of pies, pasties, cakes, pastries and tarts.”
Richard also built extensions, made front-of-shop adaptations and updated much of the machinery and equipment. But, says Reece, the original coal oven “still takes pride of place, which gives us a feel
of how it all began.”
Lough’s Home Bakery, Eyemouth
1947: Brothers William and Peter Lough found Lough Bros bakery
1948: Peter leaves to pursue a bakery career in California. William renames the business Lough’s Home Bakery
1969: William Lough passes away. William’s son, Jim, and daughter-in-law, Ann, take over the business.
1996: Jim passes away. His wife Ann and son, Richard, run the business together.
2017: Richard owns and still works in the bakery with Ann, his daughter Clare, and son Reece. The front-of-shop staff include Richard’s wife Hilda, and Reece’s partner Kyla.