A TV actor who took over his family bakery is expanding the business after a surge in demand. Sam Barriscale, who has appeared in Casualty, The Bill, Eastenders and Footballer’s Wives, took over Ma Baker’s in Worcester last year from his mother.
One of the first changes he made was to launch a website and start using Facebook and Twitter to promote the business. He also has an iPad screen in the bakery to display orders to the bakers and has refurbished the shop. “It was very 1960s looking, with lots of dark brown wood,” he says.
“I took inspiration from independent bakeries I’d seen in London and it is now decorated in heritage cream colours. Prices for ingredients are rising, but it’s difficult to put your prices up if you look like you’re stuck in the ’70s. I see a lot of bakers letting themselves down with the appearance of the shop.”
Since Barriscale took over 15 months ago, he has changed the bread recipes, removing the fat to make them healthier, and has won contracts to supply many local pubs and restaurants. He takes orders via text message to make it easier for caterers to order at short notice.
Next on the agenda is new equipment. He currently uses a three-deck, six-tray oven, and has a single prover and one mixer, but wants to upgrade to a four- or five-deck oven to cope with rising demand.