Regular shoppers in the High Street will no doubt be familiar with Watton Bakery - the town's excellent supplier of bread, cakes and of course its famous sausage rolls! The Bakery has been open for two years and is run by husband and wife team Tony and Becky Blyth.
As the Bakery has recently joined the Chamber we decided to interview Tony - owner and master baker - for our first ever Chamber business in the spotlight!
What prompted you to open your own business in Watton?
It's something that I've always wanted to do - having run bakery businesses for two other companies. I've been in this trade for 36 years so when the option to take on the bakery came up it seemed like it was the right place at the right time.
How have local people reacted to the new business?
It has been fantastic! We have built up trade from lots of regular customers and we are always busy.
Are there any products that you specialise in?
Well there is no one thing but our sausage rolls are very popular. We also cater for specialist breads such as our low GI loaves which again are very popular. Obviously everyone loves our cakes too!
Where do you source your supplies?
Are far as possible we try to use local companies. One of our suppliers moved to London and we still use them - but most, as I say, are pretty local.
What is your typical day like?
It's a long day for me. I get up at 4 in the morning and on weekdays I will finish at 4 in the afternoon. On a Saturday I get up at one as that's our busiest day but generally we finish by 2.00.
Do you get much chance to take time off?
Well I'm trying to cut down on my hours by employing more staff. I now have 7 people working for me and it has been good to offer employment to local people too.
What do you do when you are not working?
I enjoy cycling and go to the gym when I can. We also have a new dog so that gets me out and about a bit more! I used to like to go to Carrow Road and watch Norwich City but I've not been able to do that much recently.
How have you found moving from working for someone else to running your own business?
On a day to day basis it is not much different as I'm still doing lots of baking. I've had to learn more about the finance side of running a business but I have brought people in to help me with that. All in all I really enjoy it!
If you had to give any tips about setting up in business what would they be?
You need plenty of experience and to understand the market you're selling too. Working for other people taught me a lot and that has been invaluable.