A question no doubt asked a thousand times before...
So then, it's the usual story I guess, experienced by millions of other bakers no doubt ... I've been baking bread at home for the past year or so, cannot tell you how much I love it and how happy it makes me. I've realised that making bread is something I want to do, not just dabble in, something I want to make a career out of. I've been on a few bread making courses, loved every second on them and have read everything I can about companies such as Loaf Social Enterprise in Birmingham, and the Handmade Bakery in Slaithwaite, who are an absolute inspiration.
A few months I started up my own (very small-scale) community assisted bakery type scheme, I'm sure you know the score. a handful of friends and family pay a small subscription and get a loaf of bread a week. I am loving it, the getting up at daft o'clock in the morning to ensure the bread is made as fresh as possible, having the chance to practice my craft and getting some money for it, getting lovely, lovely feedback from my 'customers' and the people they feed their bread to.
I live in Warwickshire in the UK and have scoured the local towns for a bakery that I could pester to let me volunteer but to no avail. I have looked into the possibility of studying for a qualification too, but wonder whether actual experience workign in a bakery would be more helpful in the long run. But when there are no bakeries about... I also work a 9 -5 job at the moment, but really am just looking for the right opportunity before I march in there and hand in my notice :D
I'm hoping that passion for bread-making and genuine enthusiasm can make up for lack of actual experience, although from the look of job adverts around the country most employers are looking for a minimum of two years?!
Joking aside, I know I'm just going to have to go out and make things happen, rather than waiting for someone to point their magic wand and go 'POW! Here's your dream job / own bakery / fame and fortune!' I'm not looking to make millions, I just want to find a way of doing for a living what I absolutely love to do, that is, making bread :)
My question is this: Where on earth would you suggest I start?! I'd love to hear about other people's experiences of becoming professional bakers and any tips, guidance, contacts, ANYTHING, would be very, very gratefully received. Better yet, give me a job! :D
Looking forward to hearing from you all!