PUBLISHED: 17:05 16 January 2015 | UPDATED: 17:05 16 January 2015
This month Essex Life shines a light on The Essex Bakery in Colchester to find out more about sumptuous brownies and more
WHAT else is more likely to make your heart sing than a box of freshly-baked, gooey, chocolate brownies arriving in the post? The Essex Bakery was set up by Natalia Essex and her husband, Gary, to provide just this type of joy.
Gary used to be a chef and at his brother’s wedding he made brownies from his own recipe and they went down so well with the guests that the couple decided to make them regularly, initially as a hobby. That was more than three years ago and once the couple started to also sell them at Jimmy’s Farm in Wherstead, it became clear that Natalia couldn’t continue to bake and work full time.
‘I made the decision to stop working in London to concentrate on the Essex Bakery,’ explains Natalie. Natalia was working as an administrator for a quantity surveyors. Once she gave up her full-time role she relaunched the business with a new logo and website she designed herself. Since then the business has gone from strength to strength, with the online shop, supplying a variety of farmers’ markets, cafés in Colchester and her biggest client, the University of Essex, which recently asked her to supply 900 brownies for its 50th anniversary celebrations.
Husband Gary is still connected to catering but not part of the business as he’s now teaching Food Tech and Catering at a secondary modern school in Essex.
Natalie goes on: ‘I’d like to further develop the online shop and I have recently begun to supply two more farmers’ markets as well. This year I also hope to expand further into the corporate market.
‘It’s quite tricky sometimes to do it all — I have to bake, run the website and everything else, but as a small business you have to get used to that.’
The brownies come in a selection of flavours including fruit and nut, mint chocolate, chilli and chocolate, white chocolate chunk and pecan and chocolate, and there’s even a gluten free brownie — all of which can be ordered online.
‘We have Facebook and Twitter too and we recently asked our followers to give us ideas for new flavours. Our most popular flavour at the moment is probably our chocolate and orange brownies, although our double chocolate brownies are always a great seller.’
GET THE TASTE
The Essex Bakery
St Johns, Colchester
(Call 8:30am - 6pm, Monday to Friday)