For the love of good bread

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” I thought my life was mapped out; I was going to be an IT Project Manager in London. This macho environment tipped me over the edge with my anxiety and depression. Then my husband, Joe and I moved to Lancaster. I couldn’t find any real bread like the beautiful, crusty loaves we ate from Borough Market so I became obsessed by trying to recreate artisan bread.

No one wanted to finance a untrained baker with mental health issues and no experience to set up a bakery, let alone a woman. But I didn’t give up and funded by some local investors and bread lovers plus an incredulous but willing army of friends, a shop was found and spruced up. The first weeks began modestly, with fantastic support from the local community from the outset; on the day I opened Filbert’s we had never even baked so many loaves of bread before!

Our complete lack of tradition is actually rather liberating – inspiration can strike one day and be acted upon the next. And if the customers like it, it stays. Every part of what we do is inspired by the female qualities of caring and nurturing and it will be no surprise that good ingredients are a key part of my ethos; organic flour, locally supplied dairy, fruit and vegetables – so local that there is even a bartering system with local gardeners and allotment holders.

I’m really proud of my team we kept baking all through Covid, feeding the community, delivering bread to those in need and giving away food parcels for hungry families with children”

(Felicity, Lancaster)

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