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Norwich bakery shuts five days a week so owner can focus on 'exciting projects'

PUBLISHED: 15:49 19 September 2019 | UPDATED: 08:55 20 September 2019

Timberhill Bakery. Mike Sweetman and Natalie Stringer.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Timberhill Bakery. Mike Sweetman and Natalie Stringer. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2018

Timberhill Bakery in the city has closed to the public five days a week after the owner found himself spread too thinly.

Timberhill Bakery.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYTimberhill Bakery. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The independent bakery is now only open on Fridays and Saturdays so owner Mike Sweetman, who runs the business with partner Natalie Stringer, has time to write a vegan cakes cookbook.

The business, which opened in the city in February 2016, sells a range of breads, including their popular sourdoughs, which are all made in the on-site bakery, alongside a seasonal menu with items such as toasties and scones.

Earlier this year, the couple also decided to make all their cakes vegan which has proved a huge success for them.

Despite their popularity, Mr Sweetman has decided to reduce the opening hours so he can focus on the book, which he hopes will "put Norwich on the map" and plans to launch classes on Sundays too.

Mr Sweetman said: "It has become a bit of a beast and put a lot of pressure on us which is manageable, but we can't do anything else so this will free up time for the exciting projects we have planned.

"Loads of customers have asked us for a recipe book and one area where we are a long way ahead is with vegan cakes and as vegans ourselves we want to help the world see they can be just as good and it is an area of baking that isn't well documented."

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Timberhill Bakery.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYTimberhill Bakery. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Mr Sweetman opened his first bakery business in south Wales in 2007, after having a corporate career for over a decade, and worked in them throughout his teenage years during school holidays.

They supplied bread to 85 shops across the UK, including Rainbow Wholefoods in Norwich which was one of their top sellers, and after eight years decided they wanted to relocate.

Mr Sweetman added: "We found the people here are very open to new things, forward thinking and supportive of small, independent businesses and all these factors combined put it in first place."

Addressing his customers, he said: "Thanks for your continued support and please be patient and appreciate our reasons as we evolve and continue to grow and I hope the new book will put Norwich on the map."

Timberhill Bakery is now open 8am to 3pm on Fridays and 8pm to 4pm on Saturdays and you can pre-order your bread at 01603 613172.



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