Businesses in Kendal are taking part in #yourewelcome Kendal, a campaign to promote all the fantastic cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars, producers and food retailers in the town. We’ve been catching up with the people behind the businesses to find out why they love what they do.
Aidan Monks runs Lovingly Artisan with partner Catherine Connor. They have a bakery and shop at Plumgarths, Kendal, and are regulars at the town’s Farmers’ Market on the last Friday of every month. Lovingly Artisan also has a stall at Altrincham Market, in Manchester.
“We started Lovingly Artisan 12 years ago and it’s all about sourdough; using the best grains that we can in the bread to enhance its health benefits,” says Aidan.
“Sourdough is fermented so the natural process of the fermentation of the lactic acid breaks down the protein in the flour. That means that your body can absorb all of the vitamins and minerals without any sort of negative reaction to it.
“In Kendal we have a small retail bakery where people can come and visit and buy bread almost straight out of the oven. We use a big woodfired Italian oven that has helped us reduce our electric consumption each month from 12,000 kilowatt hours to just 2000 kilowatt hours and effectively our bread is now carbon neutral.
“I love baking because you never ever know it all. The beauty of sourdough is you’re not relying on any chemicals or improvers. It is only flour, water and salt, so it relies on the skill of the baker; you’re always trying to achieve the perfect loaf. We’re constantly striving to be the best and to create bread that our customers want to put at the centre of the table. We want people to take a loaf of bread home and use it for the whole of the week then come back the following week.
“I think in Kendal we’re very lucky we have a very significant group of quality food producers. I think that bread anchors very firmly into that landscape. We have a business in Manchester as well, which we use to promote Kendal outside the region, and we have quite a significant number of people who buy our bread in the city and who’ll drop in on us here if they are visiting. Most of the other food producers in Kendal are good friends, so it’s a very lovely network to be part of.
“Kendal Farmers’ Market is really special to us. We started going there a couple of years ago and it’s become a very important part of the business. We are based just outside Kendal, but the market allows us to meet all the people in town. The farmers’ market is attracting some really key local food producers and people are discovering the quality of food on their doorstep.”
To find out more go to www.lovinglyartisan.com
#yourewelcomekendal is being funded by the Government’s Welcome Back Fund. The Welcome Back Fund is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and HM Government as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.