Chef turned baker opens first artisan shop in Great Yarmouth

Bread, bagels and the baker's hands

SJG Bakery began as a home business during the first lockdown and has now opened its first premises in Great Yarmouth. - Credit: James Rouse Photography

A chef from Hemsby with a passion for locally sourced and vegan food has turned to artisan baking and opened his first store.

SJG Artisan Bakery opened its doors on Mill Road, Cobholm on September 12.

The baker, Simon Gray, had over 14 years experience as a chef before the Covid pandemic brought most of the services industry to a standstill.

Simon Gray, the bakery

Simon Gray had been a chef for 15 years before opening his bakery business. - Credit: James Rouse Photography

Mr Gray, 31, was originally furloughed and, like many people across the country, began making bread to pass the time.

The chef-turned-baker quickly discovered that his bread was a hit with his friends and family, and he saw an opportunity.


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Mr Gray said: "I was just filling the time at first, but people began saying it was good enough to sell.

"It snowballed into a business quite quickly.

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"All the signs were there and it seemed worth pursuing."

SJG Artisan Bakery on Mill Road, Cobholm

SJG Artisan Bakery on Mill Road, Cobholm - Credit: SJG Artisan Bakery

SJG Artisan Bakery opened with a pop-up shop at the beginning of September before officially opening the following week.

Mr Gray said that the shop has generated a lot of interest locally. 

"People have been walking past and saying they can smell the bread down the street," Mr Gray said. 

"Some have come in saying that they're excited about having a local bakery to get their fresh bread.

"I'm looking forward to having regular customers and expanding my range of products," he added.

Bread assortment in a hamper

SJG Bakery began as a home business during the first lockdown and has now opened its first premises in Great Yarmouth. - Credit: James Rouse Photography

Mr Gray originally based his operation at his home in Hemsby and turned his dining room into an office and storage room.

"There was a definite invasion of my home," Mr Gray said.

"It just got to the point where I couldn't continue with the volume I was doing from my home kitchen.

"Not only that, but my partner couldn't even get into the kitchen to make a cup of coffee while I was working.

"She has been great right from the start, but I think she's really happy to be able to put the toaster back where it was, and happy that I'm out of the kitchen."

SJG Artisan Bakery is open every Saturday from 10am and weekday orders can be collected from store or delivered. Visit SJG Artisan Bakery's website for more details.

Bread assortment

SJG Bakery began as a home business during the first lockdown and has now opened its first premises in Great Yarmouth. - Credit: James Rouse Photography


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