Have you turned your hand to baking during lockdown? From basic banana breads to tasty care packages for loved ones, the rise of our new favourite hobby led to nationwide ingredient shortages last year and shows no sign of slowing.
You may have invested in all the right kitchen equipment and got a few signature recipes down to a tee. For some however, baking has transitioned from a relaxing hobby into a rewarding full-time occupation.
With more bakery businesses setting up every year, the recent spike continues a growth in popularity that can be traced all the way back to the launch of the hit TV series The Great British Bake Off in 2010.
Below we chart the rise of home bakery businesses and highlight some notable star bakers in the process.
From passion to profession
Many talented people have capitalised on increased demand for sweet treats in recent times by building successful businesses.
Two examples are Lisa and Saskia of Bloom Bakers, who’ve both gone full time after seeing sales increase by over 400%. The pair create personalised biscuits for the likes of BUPA and the BBC to send directly to employees. Demand has rocketed as businesses have looked for ways to spread kindness and stay connected to staff.
Other opportunists include Savannah, also known as the Savvy Baker. Savannah now employs six full-time staff after starting to sell brownies online in early 2020, building her brand through Instagram and winning high-profile fans in the process.
Some have even found success with bake-at-home kits, similar to the meal kits provided by the likes of Gousto and Hello Fresh. Customers can order everything they need to make brownies, cookies and more, with high quality ingredients in conveniently sized packages.
The Great British Bake Off influence
In a year of terrible news, the 2020 series of The Great British Bake Off provided light and fluffy relief to cake-lovers across the UK. Many attribute our renewed passion for home baking to the show’s long-standing success on the BBC and now Channel 4.
From tricky technical challenges to jaw-dropping showstoppers, each season has helped to inspire new generations of bakers and entrepreneurs. Viewing numbers continue to grow each year – while the number of independent bakeries in the UK increased by 48% between 2016 and 2018 alone.
The show has now taken several ‘normal’ people and catapulted them into new careers. By showing just what’s possible with a little creativity and practice, the show is likely to inspire many more business ideas in the future.