Starting 2015 by continuing my introduction to some of our wonderful artisan food producers in the area. This time around it is time to meet the baker.
What’s not to love about the smell of freshly baked bread? Doesn’t it raise the spirits of everyone? Is it any wonder that estate agents used to suggest you should bake bread on the day your house was being shown for a sale?
While we mostly make our own bread, there are times when we are just stuck or have run out of time. When such times occur our preferred bread of choice is that baked by Jonas Hein at Coolfin Gardens Organic Bakery in Banagher.
I recently chatted to Jonas and, his wife, Layla, about their bakery.
Jonas started the bakery from his home kitchen in 2007. Back then the idea was that a small bakery would help tide him and Layla over financially while they were developing the ‘real big’ business plan. However, as often happens in life, things changed along the way.
Jonas had always worked in the catering industry both front of house, and behind the scenes. He, however, had no ‘formal’ training in bread-making. His baking skill was learned from his Swiss Mum, having watched her bake for the family all his life.
As Layla and Jonas continued to work on the big plan….. the popularity of their breads just grew and grew. Originally they were just supplying some local shops and restaurants, and doing the occasional market.
It was a difficult time when the realisation came that the ‘big plan’ was not going to come to fruition, yet they knew that the bakery was growing in popularity, and had huge potential.
So being adaptable and hard-working, the bakery became the ‘big plan’.
Now seven years later the bakery has moved to a customised industrial unit and has grown to the stage that more decisions need to be made as to ‘where to from here?’.
Jonas admits it is a tough schedule….. his working week starts at 3 pm on Wednesday, working late into the night each day through to 7.30 am on Saturday. A pretty tough and exacting schedule, don’t you think. And saying his week starts on Wednesday afternoon, is probably not totally accurate either. Like most business people he wears other business hats, so on the other days of the week orders and admin work have to be completed.
Layla starts her working week on Thursday at 7 am. She’s in charge of deliveries to the restaurants and shops. And on Saturday morning, after her delivery run, she heads off to the Galway Street Market for the day.
You’ll find the Coolfin Organic Bakery stand just across the road from Anthony Ryan’s.
Their breads are also available locally in Birr at the Organic Store on Main Street.
So if you are in Galway do stop by their stand…. Layla laughs that people refer to it as ‘Layla’s Bread’….. that’s what happens when you are the ‘face’ of the business I guess 🙂
Their range of organic and spelt breads includes 12 different varieties with the ciabatta being the most popular. (I can see why! It is our favourite too! Alfie actually used Jonas and Layla’s ciabatta on his recent TV appearance on The Taste of Success!).
Jonas and Layla Hein
Coolfin Gardens Organic Bakery
Telephone Layla: 087 204 5593
Facebook: Coolfin Gardens Organic Bakery