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"Changing the color in the sales area from the clinical white, to a Burnt Carrot REALLY made an impression" Thanks JT
I'd like to thank you for talking to me when I needed guidance. It's not to often you can find someone as helpful as you were.
Best Regards, Rick 
The book provided a lot of knowledge and I thank you for that. I just know I'm happier making bread than doing anything else. Ed.






























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About Me


meMy name is John Taberner. (That's me on the right)

I am 65 years young as I write this page and I have been in the bakery trade for over 50 years.

I have had other positions of employment during those years, for instance I have built side-wall hovercraft, and vehicle parts in fibreglass. I have done a spot of welding in an engineering firm,
and I have made rain-water pipe for commission.  BUT, I have always returned to the bakery for comfort and enjoyment.

I started as a baker straight from school, as a complete naive 15 year old.

At the time I was intent on going to sea as a cook, but my school counsellor and my father talked me out of it, and I joined a company called George Kents in Biscot Road, Luton, in England. It was an engineering firm, but they had a canteen with a bakery.

So they gave me a job and at one pound seventeen and sixpence for a fourtyeight hour week, I started at seven a.m six days a week

It was not long before the aroma of fresh made products got into my skin, likely from the many burns I received as a result of not listening to the professional bakers that were trying to teach this know-it-all just left school 15 year old.

After a short while George Kents decided to do away with the bakery section of their canteen and it was then I went to work for one of the old managers of George Kents, by the name of Ron Houghton.

Houghton Caterers, had a fairly large bakery where we were employed. The bakery had two ovens. One a four deck gas oven and the other was what they called in those days a Drawplate Faggot oven.

A Faggot oven is a solid fuel oven usually started by lighting paper and burning wood sticks. The drawplate was like it says a big plate which is pulled from the oven door. Ours was about eight foot wide by twelve foot long.

It is then washed sprinkled with corn grains or some other release and then loaded with bread and buns and returned to the firebox. to bake.

Houghton Caterers also did the Royal Show for three years and did numerous outside catering jobs like weddings and Garden parties. We had a large truck which had two hotel style cookers complete with ovens and work tables, cutlery, napkins, tables and chairs. Along with a fully stocked bar for any occasion.

It was at Houghton Caterers that I started an apprenticeship as a baker, however, it appeared that I was about to be called up for service duty in the armed forces so rather than be a conscript I decided to enlist as a regular. (Besides the pay was more than a conscript)

I did six years as a regular in the Army Catering Corps, and eighteen years on the reserve, visiting such places as Bahrain, Kenya, Mombasa, Tanganeka, (now known as Tanzania), Seychelles Islands, Kuwait, Aden and a few other places.

After demob I lived in Southampton. My family having emigrated to Canada because of a shortage of work in the UK after the war years and because my mother is a Canadian, born in Toronto in what is now a museum in the Don Valley. At one time that was a great mansion, but even today her family portrait is hanging in the museum.

I met my wife whilst working at a company called Lowmans, a wholesale bakery that worked 24/7. It had several ovens. One was a continuos oven. Two pans wide and fourty pans revolving. We could vary the speed and length of baking time to each product.

From Lowmans bakery I joined a more reputable bakery by the name of Cadena; where I returned to bakery school and received both Intermediate and Advanced City and Guilds, first class pass mark certificates in Bread Making and Flour Confectionery.

Cadena were bought out by Tesco supermarkets and I went on to work at Joe Lyons bakery, which was bought out by Spillars French. I went onto other bakeries, such as The Stairway Bakery, which i also help to start and ran for several years after. I was also a bakery manager at Debenhams.

There was another bakery who's name escapes me on St Mary's Road in Southampton England which has long since been remodeled and the building torn down for progress..

Turning almost full circle I became an assistant manager for the Tesco Supermarkets in Portsmaouth and later the bakery manager. Here I also assisted in the opening of their Ryde, Isle-of-Wight store, and an area relief manager to six of their stores in the south of England before coming to Canada.

In 2001 i purchased my own bakery, which I called The Crusty Cottage Bakery.

That business I purchased was in bankrupcy, and along with the people i have employed managed to turn that business around.

In 2005, our landlord with whom i had leased the building from gave our bakery six weeks to vacate the premises. He had decided to tear the building down and rebuild.

The picture around the side of your screen is the new airier brighter bakery i built in the following weeks. We closed the doors in October of that year and re-opened in our new brighter cleaner location on December 10th 2005.

In July of 2008 I sold the bakery as a viable and profitable business and that bakery is now trading under a new name.

Thank you for reading my story.
John T
The Crusty Baker.

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