It’s been a tumultuous week for the Rex Baker. What we learnt is going to require inventive thinking akin to the “Apollo 13” square peg in a round hole scene to keep going, lol.
It’s ironic because the feedback from the local community continues to be overwhelmingly warm, with so many of you ordering here by Thursday night for Saturday morning collection at the pop up in the Parade; and visitors to No 4 telling us time & time again that an Artisan Bakery is “Just what we need in Little Chalfont”.
Could this be a show stopper?
Last week we told you that it was taking longer than you’d think before we’d be ready to open the bakery. An important factor we mentioned was the utilities required to operate a working on-site bakery, and that we had a good idea we would need to increase the electricity supply to power all the ovens, retarder provers, chillers etc. Well just days ago we heard from the electricity supply company that the power to the Parade’s individual shops is woefully inadequate – less than we have to our own home garage in fact – and that all excess capacity to the Parade has been bought up by a certain popular supermarket. On paper there isn’t enough to the shop to service a bakery, and neither can there be in the short term.
What’s more, the nearest sub-station is some distance away on a private road (so needs planning permission, writing to all the residents, etc.). We would have to pay tens of thousands of pounds for our part in a massive Little Chalfont infrastructure upgrade, which would include a huge trench dug from our shop to the site for a direct feed and it would take at least 6 months to get through the process.
So we have to think laterally and work out another way forward because it’s just not an option for little old us to resource such a thing!!
(We do wonder what plans are being made by our Utility Companies for the housing development allowed on the Donkey Field behind Chenies Parade and two planning applications for shops/flats between Chenies Parade & the car showroom. Everyone wants to build in our community but there is no power infrastructure to facilitate it!) OK, rant over…
It’s all a nasty shock to say the least, because many of you will remember a bakery further down the parade before so the power must have been there on the grid a few years ago.
Which brings us to creative thinking. So now we are looking at the types of ovens; the fuel they use; how much can be used simultaneously; and especially reviewing gas powered commercial baking oven options which are popular in U.S., Italy and Germany if not Britain. There are other business model options too, of course.
So we certainly don’t see it as a show stopper at all – yet!! And we’ll keep you all posted, it’s lovely that so many of you ask about the bakery progress & that you really do care about having a real bakery in the community. Thank you.
In the meantime, the builders started work on the interior of the shop, we have sourced gorgeous contemporary wood tables & benches & shelving for the shop and cafe area, organised the shop signage and applications from potential bakers & staff are coming in – so lots & lots of positive shop momentum.
And we are thrilled with the feedback on all the Rex Bakery products and at least we can be totally confident about & committed to the production & quality of our home bakes in the meantime. And if you are new to Rex Bakery, WELCOME & please sign up for email alerts in the top right hand corner.
Have a great week! xx