A gingerbread heart on a scarf

Source: Getty Images

As 2022 draws to a close, I wanted to share some thoughts with our readers.

I’d like to start by offering a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has supported and interacted with British Baker throughout the year, whether that’s attending one of our fabulous events, reading our content or inviting a member of the team to your site. We really appreciate it.

After the turbulence of the past couple of years, I’m sure we all hoped 2022 would offer some much-needed respite but alas, it doesn’t rain, it pours. I am constantly in awe of the resilience and determination seen across the industry as well as the community spirit that shines through.

I often think about the words André Sarafilovic spoke in his acceptance speech at the Baking Industry Awards when discussing the tough times everyone is facing. “It’s just a road bump.” That’s not to undermine the seriousness of the challenges overcome and the ones being faced but hopefully it instils faith in everyone that this community will continue to prosper.

While I’m casting my eyes back over 2022, I wanted to share a few of my personal highlights:

  • Eating a warm caramel muffin fresh off the line at Baker & Baker’s site in Wirral. That whole visit was like a non-stop eating tour, and it was glorious
  • Celebrating the industry with a glass of fizz (or two) at the Baking Industry Awards. The energy and enthusiasm in that room is like no other. It also filled me with pride to see the reactions of our winners live on stage and hear what it means to them. I’m not ashamed to say a few tears were shed on the night

Amy North at Baking Industry Awards

Source: British Baker

Opening the Baking Industry Awards 2022

  • Eating all the sourdough at Britain’s Best Loaf! I always worry I’ll run out of room, but it appears there is no limit to how much wonderful bread I can eat. My only regret is not having bacon on hand to turn this year’s winner (a Parmesan & Black Pepper Sourdough Loaf from Bakerman) into a ‘carbonara’ themed sandwich
  • Kicking my shoes off to join in with a cèilidh at the Scottish Bakers Presidential Dinner and Dance. If that doesn’t fill you with a sense of community, nothing will
  • Publishing the Bakery Market Report and Top Bakery Trends report. So much hard work goes into but the reaction from our readers makes it all worth it. We’ll be working on 2023 versions, so keep an eye out in April and November
  • Improving my baking skills. While I’ll never meet the standards seen in the industry, I do keep my loved ones well fed with homemade goodies. The chocolate Guinness cake with salted caramel frosting made for a friend’s birthday is probably my best creation to date

Amy at bread restaurant

Source: British Baker

Enjoying a tipple and some toast at the Asda bread restaurant

  • Snaffling my way through the 13-course bread tasting menu hosted by Asda – the sourdough with chicken fat whipped butter was a particular highlight
  • Visiting Jones Village Bakery’s site in Wrexham. Positivity and pride shone through from every staff member I spoke to. The state-of-the-art site is testament to the investment in staff and machinery that Robin Jones and his team have made.

Of course, this isn’t a definitive list, but we’d be here forever if I were to list every delectable doughnut and sumptuous sourdough I’ve eaten this year.

As always, please do reach out if you’d like to share some news or feedback with myself and the team – we’re always looking for new ideas and to improve our coverage. My diary is also open for invitations to doughnut factories, craft bakeries, and more.

For now though, have a very merry Christmas and a happy new year!