'One man band' baker sells out on first day of new business
- Credit: Lou Killaspy Photography
A baker specialising in traditional breads and cakes has opened a stall near Diss – and managed to sell out on his first day.
Mick Eldridge, who has 45 years in the industry, now has a stand at Place Farm Shop in Stuston called Mick the Baker.
The 65-year-old developed his skills as a 15-year-old apprentice in East London and continues to make everything by hand.
He said: "I am a one man band and I make it, bake it, sell it and deliver it.
"Aside from a mixer I make everything with my own hands the traditional way which is a lot of hard work.
"I love my job and I love interacting with customers, many of which have been coming back to me since I first moved to Norfolk 25 years ago."
Despite the early starts in the bakery, Mr Eldridge has managed to also forge a career as musician.
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He sings and plays congas with his band who travel over Norfolk, Suffolk and further afield to entertain audiences.
"Getting up at 3am to bake and then having late nights playing gigs is perhaps not the best mixture of professions but I've managed to make it work and I only need three to four hours of sleep," he said.
"We play mostly parties, weddings and the odd pub gig. Music has always been my main love and it is great to be able to do both.
"Since Covid the crowds have been great. It seems like everyone is up for a good time and people get up and dancing right from the get-go."
Mick the Baker sells a variety of baked goods such as wholemeal and and white loaves, focaccia, and traditional cakes including Eccles cakes, Bakewell tarts and rock cakes.
It is open Wednesday to Thursday between 8.30am and 2pm and Friday from 8.30am to 5pm.
Mr Eldridge added: "This is the seventh bakery I've set up.
"I like to go to empty spaces, fix them up myself then move on to a new spot.
"I don't plan on moving anywhere and this may be my last spot but you never know."