It is the bakery that is backed by celebrity chefs Rosemary Shrager and Marco Pierre White, Foreign Secretary William Hague and it featured prominently in the Easter Sunday edition of BBC Radio 4’s The Food Programme.
Now, with its reputation growing, the Veterans’ Artisan Bakery is, for the first time, expanding beyond its military heartland and into the wider commercial marketplace.
From the end of this month (April 28), the public will be able to buy Veterans’ bread from Jefferson's of Richmond, the high-end food retailer based in Richmond, North Yorkshire.
The Veterans’ Artisan Bakery is manned by former members of the Armed Forces who are seeking a better future for themselves after the trials and tribulations of service in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Since it opened in January, the bakery, which is based at The Beacon, Marne Road, next to Catterick Garrison, and is run by the Darlington-based Clervaux Trust, has developed a reputation for producing quality breads, whilst at the same time giving training and therapeutic benefits to its staff.
Gary Jefferson of Jefferson's said: “Since we opened last year we have had many customers asking us to stock quality breads. We’ve tried lots of samples but when we tried those from the Veterans’ Artisan Bakery it was no contest. Their breads are just so tasty.
“We all want to do what we can to help ex-servicemen re-integrate into society after their service in places like Afghanistan. But the fact that their breads are so good was the clincher. It means that our customers can now enjoy a quality product whilst supporting our veterans at the same time,” he said.
Rick McCordall, Commercial Manager for the Darlington-based Clervaux Trust which runs the Veterans’ Artisan Bakery said: “This is the first time we have expanded beyond the confines of our Catterick base.
“It is important that the Veterans’ Artisan Bakery becomes sustainable as soon as possible and we see partnerships with businesses like Jefferson's of Richmond as the ideal way to make natural, traditional breads available to the public whilst at the same time allowing us to continue to help those who have risked everything in the service of their country.”
Jefferson's has been operating from its base in Market Place, Richmond, since May 2011. The business specialises in top end food retailing such as its own preserves, pickles and chutneys, local cheeses, dairy products and baked goods. Jefferson's also stocks a range of speciality teas, coffees, chocolates and olive oils.