'We've already got regulars' says manager of new Daventry town centre artisan bakery

From left: Geraldine, head baker Julien, pastry chefs Sebastien and Isabelle, Kat, baker Antoine and manager Tom Welch
From left: Geraldine, head baker Julien, pastry chefs Sebastien and Isabelle, Kat, baker Antoine and manager Tom Welch

An artisan bakery in Daventry town centre already boasts a number of regulars, its manager says, since it opened last Thursday.

Bread & Circus in Sheaf Street is a family business that sells bread, patisseries and savouries made with specialist flours from France and Italy and locally-produced and organic ingredients.

The range of breads on offer

The range of breads on offer

It occupies a previously empty unit in a 400-year-old listed building and only opened once head baker Julien was happy with the produce.

"I didn't want to open until we were ready," said manager Tom Welch, a keen home baker.

"We opened the doors at around 10am and there was no-one about - but it didn't take long before we had a queue of people."

"We have already got regulars," he added.

The bakery opens from 8am

The bakery opens from 8am

Popular products so far include the chocolate bread, the curry baguette, raspberry tart and the eclairs described by one punter as being "to die for".

Tom's team includes two bakers, two pastry chefs, one vegan chef and five front-of-house staff.

Their number will grow next year when the pizzeria section of Bread & Circus opens and 2019 will also see the introduction of afternoon tea and bakery workshops.

"Bread brings people together and that's what it's all about, building a community in Daventry," said Mr Welch.

The shop is set out as an open plan kitchen so customers can watch the bakers at work.

Bread & Circus creates naturally leavened sourdough breads, baked goods and fine pastries adhering to time honoured artisanal standards.

Using only the finest natural ingredients, made from scratch, everything is free from every kind of additives or preservatives

The phrase "bread and circus" originates in ancient Rome (circa AD100) when satirical poet Juvenal described an exhaustion in the general populace with politics, preferring instead to be distracted by food and entertainment.

"Likewise, we thought we could all do with a similar distraction here in the 21st Century," reads the bakery's Facebook page.