Recipe's, Articles, Tips for keeping with
The Crusty Baker.
The Crusty Baker is FREE
and published monthly. Unsubscribe at anytime.
Your email address is kept confidential.
submissions are welcomed.
Send your submission to
"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.
My 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
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
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
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
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.
The Crusty Baker.
property of John Taberner
The Crusty Baker - DBA The Crusty Cottage Bakery