Tony Phillips, British Baker’s longstanding and highly popular columnist, was born in Swanage and attended Swanage Grammar School. He then joined the Merchant Navy for a number of years until he met Barbara and became, as he jokingly referred, her toyboy. After their marriage they opened a fabric shop. They also had a cafe which increased demand for their home baked cakes, this started them on the road to becoming bakers and they turned their basement into a bakery and extended into neighbouring premises. Barbara meanwhile commenced making chocolates. As his business progressed Tony became adept at delegating, in particular to his right hand man, Neville Morse. Tony’s business expanded most successfully into nine shops, nine vans and a chocolate and catering business. He was Gloucester region president in 1986 when he started taking a deeper interest in the National Association of Master Bakers (NAMB). Tony was made Western regional president in 2000/2001, this year culminated in an open day bakery visit to his business, Janes Pantry, and he held his dinner dance in Bournemouth. Being very street wise, financially, Tony gladly helped many bakers and put them on the right lines to running their own business. Also at this time, he started contributing articles to the American bakery magazine having become a member of their association, Retail Confections International. In 1998 he took a party of British bakers with him to the American bakers conference in Mineappolis, with a few days in New York. While at the conference he arranged visits for our members to a variety of local bakers. We did notice that a lot of them also produced dog biscuits! Tony went on to be elected National President of the NAMB in 2004/2005 and held his conference at Harrogate. While there, we had the pleasure of visiting Hughes Family Bakers and Sparks Confectioners, Tony believed there was always something to learn. He was elected Vice Chairman to the NAMB board, and subsequently chairman. Three years ago he played a major part in putting the NAMB finances in order and cutting the major loss-making AWBT training arm out of existence. In 2007 he became President of the American bakers’ association, the RCI, having been a member for 11 years. He was the first and only British baker to become their President, Tony also played a part in local government, eventually becoming leader of Gloucester City Council. Tony leaves a wife Barbara, two daughters Andrea and Jane and his grandchildren.
Jon Castle
Secretary to the Western Region.