‘Real bread’ interest sets sales soaring for UK bakery

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Two Magpies Bakery has seen a boost in sales with the demand for 'real bread'. Pic: Two Magpies Bakery
Two Magpies Bakery has seen a boost in sales with the demand for 'real bread'. Pic: Two Magpies Bakery

Related tags Two Magpies Bakery Real bread campaign sourdough vegan gluten free bakery

Two Magpies Bakery – a group of four family-owned bakeries across Suffolk and Norfolk on the East Coast of the UK – has realised a £3.5m sales increase in just 16 months.

Over the past three years, the group has expanded from one outlet in Southwold to four, opening branches in Aldeburgh and Darsham, and most recently, a bakery and cafe in Norwich.

According to the UK bakery, sales rocketed from £670,000 to £4.25m in the past 16 months, particularly driven by the rising consumer interest in ‘real bread’.

Two Magpies Bakery is a member of the Campaign for Real Bread, a UK consumer watchdog that aims to ‘make bread better for us, better for our communities and better for the planet’.

 “There is a huge growth in interest for speciality breads, wholesome foods, different flavour combinations and unique bakes. People love real bread and we see that interest continuing to grow across all our sites,”​ said Rebecca Bishop, who co-owns Two Magpies Bakery with husband, Steve Magnall.

Real ingredients, more flavour

The bakery is known for its long fermented sourdough breads, which are made using live cultures, locally milled flour and no artificial additives, processing aids or improvers.

The range includes Magpie Sourdough with white, wholemeal and rye flours; East Coast Rye with white wheat flour, wholegrain rye flour and malted cut rye grains; and Spelt sourdough with chia and flax seeds. The bakery also produces weekly specials such as Malted Triple Chocolate Sourdough, Spelt Sourdough with Walnut & Honey; and Fermented Barley Blackshore Stout Sourdough made with local brewery Adnams Blackshore stout and local company Hodmedods fermented barley grains.

“There are very few bakeries doing what we do. We are constantly adapting to trends – for example, we've introduced more vegan and gluten free bakes – whilst in Darsham we run Sourdough masterclasses so people can learn the techniques for themselves.

“People want more flavour and real ingredients and that's what we're providing,” ​added Bishop.

Expanding distribution

The company recently won a listing with Snape Maltings Food Hall and Pantry – an arts and leisure complex on the banks of the River Aide in Snape that’s a popular destination for lunchgoers and tourists – to supply sweet treats like hand-laminated croissants, triple Belgium pain au chocolate and vegan palmiers, as well as a range of savoury products like spiced Moroccan vegan rolls.

“We've developed a serious management team for growth, which we're managing with cash flow and we have lots more plans for expansion,”​ said Magnall.

“There's so much interest in real bread and the response to our outlets is phenomenal, the demand is there, and we want to fill it.”

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