The past decade has flown by, and we can hardly believe we’re 10 today. It seems like only yesterday that Alex, our founder and head baker extraordinaire, got the keys for his first small bakery, a blink-it-and-you’ll-miss-it space in East Grinstead. It was December 10th, in the run up to Christmas, and all he had was a small oven and one fridge.
That’s how it all started: Alex, on his own, baking, delivering, talking to people and, slowly, but surely, building a loyal crowd of bread enthusiasts that would come knocking to ask for more sourdough loaves.
In the span of a few months, he was taking the bakery on the road, as a catering operation and then selling at a market in Ropewalk. With a handful of bread baskets and a few crates, he would set up shop from Thursday to Sunday, waking up at dawn to knead his doughs, then working till closing time to make sure none was left behind. Shortly after Plaw Hatch Farm became his first official client- we are forever grateful for that.
It was exhausting, but oh so worth it: occasional purveyors turned into regular customers, and soon enough Alex was able to hire another member of staff, buy more tools, and expand his venture.
And expand it did. Five years later, in 2015, he moved The Sussex Kitchen into its current space, growing the team and the pastries and breads he would offer.
As of 2020, our staff consists of 30 people, and The Sussex Kitchen has launched a webshop peddling organic, sustainably-sourced and natural produce, most of which is grown and sown in Sussex.
More ambitious plans are ahead: on the eve of our anniversary, we got the keys for another unit next to ours, meaning we’re going to grow even further in 2021 (watch out for The Sussex Kitchen café or store in the future!)
Among all this fantastic madness, a few things have remained the same as they were when Alex started solo: namely, our high standards for quality, ingredients, and craftsmanship, the love for what we do, and the firm believe that The Sussex Kitchen is, first and foremost, a family business for our local community – you.
After all, we wouldn’t be here without your support. So thank you.
Here’s to many more croissants and sourdoughs for the years to come.
The Sussex Kitchen