A brand new business owned by a trained engineer whose last business specialised in plastic injection moulding, is going from strength to strength. Farnley Market’s premises are also a little surprising too, set back down what seems like a farm track. But once you get through the door, smell the aroma of fresh baked bread and hear Steve talk animatedly and passionately about Artisan bread, it all makes sense.
On selling his last business, Steve’s stipulations for his next venture were that it had to be something he enjoyed and it had to be located on his doorstep. A keen baker in his spare time, he enrolled on a series of bread making courses, wrote a business plan and set to work transforming an empty agricultural building into a bake house, the rest, as they say, is history…
Just months after opening, Steve and the team at Farnley Market have already got big plans to expand the business.
Up at the crack of dawn 6 days a week to bake artisan loaves for the people of West Yorkshire Village Farnley Tyas, it’s a wonder that Steve and his team of 6 staff even have time to dream up these plans, but Farnley Market’s loyal customer base is eager to see what’s next for Farnley Market.
We’re going to need a considerably bigger oven…
After a busy few months the first and most important situation that needed to be addressed was the size of the commercial oven in the Bakehouse, it just wasn’t big enough to meet the demand of Farnley’s artisan bread loving community.
So in January 2015 the new oven finally arrived giving Steve the capacity to make more loaves to be sold in the shop as well as meeting the needs of his growing number of trade customers, all keen to get a slice of the artisan bread action.
Steve says “We’re always introducing specials and new recipes to our bread menu and the best seller is always changing, sourdoughs are always popular and our sourdough granary loaf flies of the shelf.”
All the Farnley Market breads are named after local beauty spots or landmarks giving them memorable names such as the Butts Bloomer, Yorkshire Dartmouth , Molly Carr’s Granary and the Royal Shrogg..
Lessons in breadmaking…
2015 and the arrival of the larger oven also marked the start of another new chapter as the first of Farnley market’s bread making courses took place in January.
Steve says “The plan is to run the bread making courses on a Saturday in the actual bakery, with everyone working together around the shaping table to create a real sociable atmosphere. By the end of the 4 hour course, attendees have 4 loaves to take home, a French style Fougasse, a bread making starter kit, as well as some brand new skills.”
And it seems the locals really are keen because by early January the first 3 courses had already sold out through to March.
Steve continues “I don’t see the courses as giving away all my trade secrets or losing customers for the bakery. By educating people on the process that goes into baking bread it gives them a better understanding of the skill, love and time that goes into each loaf and how it differs to the loaves of mass produced and chemically enriched sliced bread you find on the supermarket shelves. After attending a bread making course they’re much more likely to become a regular customer at the bakehouse.”
Getting friendly with the locals…
While the bakehouse is the main focus of Farnley Market, they have forged some good friendships with local artisan producers and now offer a fine selection of products from companies such as Goosemoor Organics, Greedy Little Pig, Small World Beers, Michael Lee Cheeses, Yorkshire Drizzle, Yummy Yorkshire Ice Cream and Lily Pickles.
Once the upstairs of the building has been transformed to allow more space for a food prep area the café can expand its menu and understandably Steve is already excited about working with even more local producers.
He says: “Greedy Little Pig is going to be supplying us with Pulled Pork and sixteen hour smoked brisket for our sandwich menu.”
A full lunchtime menu, pop up events, acoustic nights and Gluten Free Wednesdays all feature in Farnley Market’s future plans. Steve also plans to take their artisan bread to some local Yorkshire markets and food festivals to help spread the word about Farnley Market even further.