Former Baker of the Year David Wright is set to turn his family bakery and café into all-day bread and barbecue restaurant.
Wright, who won the title of Baker of the Year in the 2017 Baking Industry Awards, is partnering with burgers and barbecue chef Christian Stevenson – known as DJ BBQ – to transform Wright’s Fire Station Café and Cake Shop Bakery in Woodbridge, Suffolk.
“It has been well documented that bakeries, high street shops and restaurants are struggling,” said Wright. “We are no exception and, at this incredibly difficult time, you must either adapt to the needs of the modern customer or face a very austere future.”
Wright and Stevenson are launching a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign on 4 April with the aim of raising £75,000 to help set up the restaurant and café “celebrating food cooked with fire”, including bread, coffee, wood-fired pizzas, burgers and BBQ food.
The majority of the investment will go on a new kitchen and provide new wall coverings, ovens and other equipment. It will also pay for new tables and chairs, new toilets and two delivery bikes - one pedal bike and one scooter - so they can deliver pizzas.
This follows a £300,000 investment over the past six years in the business, which was established by Wright’s grandparents in 1946. Wright took it over from his father in 2013 and, with experience in set design after attending King’s College University in London, he redesigned both the café and bakery and moved production to a new site nearby.
“We are very lucky to have some great resources built over three generations,” said Wright. “I am lucky to have friends who are experts in their field, such as Christian.
“Making the most of what we have and showing there is life in an established business is what we’ve done for over 70 years. Now we must adapt, take some risks and go all-in, so that the business is still going for my grandchildren to enjoy. We want to have fun, show off our talent and provide for our families.”
Wright and Stevenson have been friends since meeting at a festival in 2014, when Stevenson discovered Wright’s brioche buns were the “best burger buns he’s ever eaten”.
Described as a live fire chef, Stevenson has his own YouTube channel with 175,000 followers. A regular on Jamie Oliver’s FoodTube, he also stars in and hosts festivals including Meatopia, The Big Feastival, Camp Bestival, Grilltopia and The Big Grill.
Stevenson, who is to move to Suffolk and will be involved in the new restaurant on a daily basis, is launching his third book, The Burger Book, on the day the Kickstarter campaign begins.