Ipswich baker is ‘living the dream’
- Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND
A baker and pastry chef from Ipswich says he’s living the dream and looking forward to what 2022 brings after growing his business dramatically over the last six months.
At the beginning of lockdown things looked bleak for Jake Melton of Jake’s Bakes. Having set up in 2018, making a name for himself on the local events and markets scene, he was forced to shut down completely when lockdown hit. And, devastatingly, had no access to funding. It was a scary time, the baker admits.
“Then friends would tell me other people were making cakes and bakes and boxes for delivery, so I thought I’d do that. And it really took off for me!
“I started making afternoon teas and treat boxes, putting a menu online three days a week for customers to choose from. I couldn’t believe how popular they were.”
So popular, in fact, that Jake has been able to move from a maisonette to a three-bedroom home in Suffolk’s county town, building his own bespoke bakery. “The house had a brick building at the end of the garden the previous owners used as a gym/games room and I had this idea I could convert it into a professional kitchen.
“I wanted to give myself more space. I worked with a specialist commercial kitchen company locally and they built it to my specifications. I’ve now got loads of room for fridges and freezers and cooling.”
The world (OK Suffolk) is now Jake’s oyster, with the freedom and flexibility to grow Jake’s Bakes.
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And it’s all he’s ever wanted. Jake’s been into baking since he was young, spending hours as a child watching cooking shows, and whisking up birthday cakes for family and friends.
After leaving school he trained at Colchester Institute in professional cookery and pastry, going on to work as a pastry chef in restaurants, tearooms and care homes around Suffolk and north Essex.
“My first event as Jake’s Bakes was Bury Christmas Fayre in 2018. I’d always wanted to branch out on my own. I didn’t have any experience in business so I had to learn that along the way which was interesting! It was hard at the beginning, especially just doing events because they are so weather dependant. If it’s raining you start to wonder if anyone will show up.”
The markets led Jake to form relationships with other independent foodie businesses including Shore Coffee and Cuppa in Felixstowe, The Milkshed at Sproughton, and Ipswich Sports Club, which he supplies with his goodies.
While he has no events on the radar for 2022 yet (watch this space) Jake is continuing to build on the success of his free local delivery service, offering a staggering array of dreamy sweet (and savoury) confections.
“There are too many to list,” he says. “Loads of brownies, blondies, the Bakewell tarts are very very popular, I make all different varieties of millionaire’s shortbread, rocky roads, and caramel cornflake cake. I made that recently for Shore Coffee with crushed Dime Bar on top and it was a sell-out.”
Treat boxes cost £10 for six pieces of cake or traybake, with free local delivery in Ipswich. “I change what I do every week, but it’s things like lemon drizzle, salted caramel cake and brownies.
And afternoon tea is £22.99 for two (again with free delivery in Ipswich), which will get you six finger sandwiches per person, three types of cake, huge scones with homemade jam and clotted cream, and a confection – such as truffles or macarons.
The success of a gentlemen’s tea for Father’s Day last year has led to the creation of a new savoury tea - £24.99 for two with sandwiches, cheese scones, sausage rolls, cheese straws and pizza pinwheels.
Plus, Jake is soon to launch a catering service of savoury platters or bespoke cake tables.
“It’s brilliant,” he says. “I’m just so grateful for all the support.”
Find out more at jakebakes.co.uk
Jake’s Biscoff and white chocolate flapjacks
340g porridge oats
150g unsalted butter
150g golden syrup
115g light soft brown sugar
200g white chocolate
80g Biscoff spread
100g crushed Biscoff biscuits
Melt the butter, syrup and sugar in a pan – pour into a bowl. Add the oats and combine.
Pour into a lined 8ins square tin and flatten.
Bake at 180C for 20 minutes or until golden.
Allow to cool.
Melt the white chocolate and spread on top. Warm through the Biscoff spread and swirl into the white chocolate. Sprinkle over the crushed biscuits.
Place in the fridge for at least two hours to set. Slice and serve.