From high flying career to earning himself a crust

Andy Black: Bread by Bike EMN-170202-094028001
Andy Black: Bread by Bike EMN-170202-094028001

A Tealby helicopter pilot has turned his back on flying and turned to two wheels to deliver his new business venture as a baker.

For more than 20 years, Andy Black ferried oil rig workers out to sea and home again, first in Aberdeen and then from Humberside Airport.

Andy Black: Bread by Bike EMN-170202-094042001

Andy Black: Bread by Bike EMN-170202-094042001

When he learned he was to be made redundant, his thoughts turned to how his family could stay in the village they had grown to love.

“There was some flying work available, but that would mean moving, or me working in Africa,” said Andy.

“We discovered that our priority was to stay living in Tealby, so I tried to look at a change of career, something that would allow me to work from home, but also something that would be fun and satisfying.”

That something turned out to be making bread.

“I have always been interested in cooking, not specifically baking, but would bake every so often for the family,” said Andy.

“I decided to look more into it - reading some books and watching You Tube.

“I thought there was definitely a market for nice homemade bread that didn’t have a lot of things added to it.

So, last November, Andy set up a small home-based micro-bakery and, combined with his love of cycling, Bread Buy Bike was born.

“I had about six weeks to practise the bakes before I started selling - and then I had to work out how to organise it all,” said Andy.

“I have been overwhelmed by the support, interest and lovely comments and feedback I’ve had.

“It is really nice when going around the village and people say how nice the bread is and then place another order.

“It also means I can take the children to school and have more family time generally.”

However, the bread business was not a piece of cake as Andy discovered.

He gets up at 2.30am to get the bread ready for delivery from 9am on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

He currently has regular orders for 120 loaves a week, using 10kg of white flour, and six each of wholemeal and malthouse each time.

“The bulk of the orders are, white, wholemeal and granary, but I also do a few walnut loaves once a week, as well as rye sourdough loaves, which are proving popular” he said.

“I try to take account of what people want, but if I make too many varieties it would be too much to do.

“I don’t want to make a vast fortune out of the business, just enough to make it worthwhile.

“Ideally, I would like to double my output; 60 loaves a day over the four days would be about right for the long term.”

As well as individual orders delivered to Tealby and Walesby, Andy’s bread is available at Tealby Village Shop, the Vintage Tea Rooms in Front Street and Sunnyside Up Farm Shop.

“I had never really baked bread until last year, so that was interesting, and I had never run my own business, so that was new too,” said Andy.

“I’ve no idea how things will develop with the business, but at the moment, it’s fun, satisfying and rewarding.”

Find out more about Bread Buy Bike on Facebook, or at any of the outlets.