Patrick McGuigan

The media spotlight fell on craft bakers and the role they play in the community last week, with National Craft Bakers’ Week generating a host of positive newspaper stories and features on TV and radio.

Held from 7-12 June, the week-long celebration of craft bakeries was deemed a "great success" by Mike Holling, chairman of the National Association of Master Bakers, and attracted extensive coverage in local media.

"This is the second National Craft Bakers’ Week and there has been a really encouraging response from bakers, shoppers and the media," said Holling, who is also retail operations director at Birds of Derby. "The week was a great opportunity for bakers to remind customers how important they are to the high street. People sometimes forget that we are specialist producers with unique craft skills."

Gunns Bakery in Sandy, Bedfordshire, brought back traditional products, such as Bath and Chelsea buns, and held in-store demonstrations, where children could decorate gingerbread men and fill doughnuts. It also baked a 4ft craft bakers’ week loaf as part of a special window display. "It was a great event for building public relations and raising the profile of craft bakers," said owner David Gunns. "People sometimes forget where their food comes from, so it’s good to remind them we are here, making the products fresh each day."

Hannah Marriage, marketing executive at Marriage’s the miller, appeared on Radio Essex’s breakfast programme to promote the week and helped publicise events being held by Marriage’s craft bakery customers. "Our feeling was that more craft bakeries took part than last year," she said. "The week was a great way for bakers to build customer loyalty."

Other events included a special awards ceremony organised by bakery students at Thomas Danby college in Leeds and a bakery demonstration from Kindred Bakery at the South of England Show in Sussex.