WMAW: "Winning was surreal, I wasn't expecting it"

The Cake Shop Bakery’s David Wright saw off tough competition to be crowned Baker of the Year at the 2017 Baking Industry Awards ceremony

The secret to success in bakery, according to Baker of the Year 2017 David Wright, is pretty simple: work hard and stay true to your core values.

“We never try to be something that we’re not,” explains the third-generation baker, who runs The Cake Shop Bakery in Woodbridge, Suffolk. “We always try to improve things as much as we can, even if it’s just by a small amount every single day.”

Wright is no stranger to success after winning ITV’s Britain’s Best Bakery in 2014 and regional accolades at the Suffolk Food and Drink Awards in 2015.

And he recommends entering the Baking Industry Awards to businesses aiming to raise their profile in the industry.

“It felt great just to get to the last three,” he told British Baker on the night he won the award. “And it has been really fantastic to meet all the other finalists.”

Wright took over the business from his father in 2013 and has transformed the shop and café. With experience in set design after attending King’s College University in London, he redesigned them both and moved production to a new site nearby.

Breads, pastries and cakes are sold through the shop and café, and the business also caters for functions.

“Bakery is hard work, but what feels right is the millennia-old connection between the field and turning grain into something we can eat,” says Wright.

“I enjoy its simplicity: basic ingredients turned into tasty breads and delicious treats – it’s alchemy.”

Where possible, ingredients such as rapeseed oil, flour, organic eggs, and sausage meat are sourced locally. And Wright says he has enjoyed a great reaction from his suppliers since picking up the trophy at this year’s Baking Industry Awards ceremony at the London Hilton on Park Lane in September.

“Winning Baker of the Year was surreal, I really wasn’t expecting it,” he says.

“Everyone has been really kind and saying that it has been well deserved. We have been offered so much support and it has been really great in that respect,” Wright adds. “All the customers have been really pleased and the businesses we supply have been really shouting about it.”

Since his win, Wright has been focused on the bakery’s new wholesale facility, which opened in the summer to increase production by 20% to keep up with demand from retailers, restaurants and hotels.

The facility received financial backing from Lloyds Bank for a major fit-out and new equipment such as specialist ovens and provers.

Sponsor's comment

Brook Food Processing Equipment has sponsored and judged the Baker of the Year category at the Baking Industry Awards for four consecutive years. The business said David Wright showed “amazing attributes” across the entire spectrum of baking. “He demonstrated huge customer awareness, a passion for producing good products and a massive respect for tradition as well as baking extremely good products.”

Brook Food marketing director Ann Wells, who presented the award alongside celebrity host Denise van Outen, said: “The award should bring David’s business some great publicity and his local customers will be delighted to be able to buy their bread from the 2017 Baker of the Year.”

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