A Staffordshire-based craft baker has helped Stoke-on-Trent College to get a new bakery up and running.

Gareth Thomas, owner of London Road Bakehouse in Stoke, has given expert mentoring to trainee chefs and bakers from the college in preparation to work in its new professional bakery, which was launched on Tuesday (25 September).

Based at the Cauldon campus in Shelton, the new bakery kitchen’s facillities are worth £37,000 and have been funded by the college, so that its bakers, who are also students studying for a Diploma in Professional Catering, can create a range of breads and patisserie products to sell at the college’s restaurant and coffee shop. 

New equipment bought especially for the site includes a three-drawer oven, a spiral mixer, a bun-divider moulder and a prover.

Rob Hinsley, an assistant director at Stoke-on-Trent College, said: “Work has gone on over the summer to transform a large area within the college’s kitchens into a professional standard bakery. This will be a real boost for students on our Professional Cookery course as they will be producing bread and cakes for sale in the college’s public restaurant and coffee areas.

“It is great that we have been able to forge a partnership with Gareth at the London Road Bakehouse. Students will visit Gareth’s bakery and he will come into college to share his expertise with our students.”