Baker Tom Herbert – one half of the television duo The Fabulous Baker Brothers – has unveiled plans to open a restaurant and cookery school at the flagship family bakery in Chipping Sodbury, Gloucestershire.
He hopes to transform the first floor of Hobbs House Bakery in the high street, which is where he and his brother Tom, a butcher and award-winning chef, grew up.
If everything goes to plan, the Chipping Sodbury shop will emulate its sister shop in Nailsworth, Gloucestershire, where there is a bakery, cookery school and bistro. He hopes to open the cookery school early next year and the restaurant soon after.
Describing the project as “massive”, 34-year-old Tom explained: “We are the beginning of a very long journey, but we are very excited. The details haven’t yet been figured out, but we want to open as soon as possible – early next year, if we can.
“It will be kept like a house, with the kitchen where it was. It was our house and we want it to feel like a home.”
The brothers are now working with architects to see how they can change the first-floor space at the listed Georgian building, before seeking the necessary building and planning consents.
He said the plans to open the school and restaurant had been accelerated because of the number of people who visit the bakery, founded by their grandfather in 1920, following the success of their first television series, The Fabulous Baker Brothers.
“People come to the bakery from all over the country after they have seen it on the TV, but we don’t have anywhere for them to sit and enjoy themselves,” said the former Young Baker of the Year.
The family has four bakeries in Chipping Sodbury, Cirencester, Nailsworth and Tetbury.