This is Grimsby – one of my local food heroes. He is the mastermind behind Pye Baker of Norwich Artisan Bakery. A friendly-looking chap ain’t he? That’s because he is. (Before this shot, he was striking a Vogue pose. He’s that kinda guy. Chipper. A fitting quality for a baker.)
Pye Bakers supply many restaurants, cafes and independent shops across the region with freshly baked goodies. This week they opened a beautiful new bakery on Dereham Road in Norwich, very exciting news for a Mediterranean carb-fiend like me.
And I’d hazard a guess that there aren’t many bakers outside of London who boast such a fine pedigree. Grimsby has worked at St John’s restaurant and for the likes of Antony Worrall Thompson and Pierre Koffmann. He’s been working in kitchens as a pastry chef, head chef and baker since he was 15 years old.
During my 2pm visit, Grimsby pointed out that: “There isn’t much left I’m afraid. Mornings are best”. Well, if the shelves are stocked this generously in the afternoon I thought, I really must see it in the morning.
All of Pye’s baked goods use 100% organic flour and free range eggs, with no additives or preservatives added.
There’s a lovely indoor and al fresco seating area where you can enjoy breakfast and lunchtime treats, fresh coffee and croissants for breakfast or savoury treats any time of the day. Unlike many bakeries they stay open until 5pm.
Pye Bakery sell a plethora of sweet treats: Apple Buns, Hot Cross Buns, Bread Pudding, Chocolate Brownie, Lime Madelines, Coconut Cake, Raspberry Meringues and Almond Meringues.
Savour Tarts: Quiche Lorraine, Red Onion Goat’s Cheese, Binham Blue & Butternut Squash, Goat’s Cheese & Red Pepper, Smoked Salmon Rocket and Broccolo Walnut & Binham Blue.
They also serve a range of delicious baguettes and sandwiches (using fresh bread made that day at Pye, of course) with locally-inspired fillings. One sandwich they are especially proud of is its warm Sisters of Smoke rare breed free range pork on homemade ciabatta roll. This local bacon is produced by the sister company of local meat producers Marsh Pig, who cure the bacon for three weeks and oak smoke it for 16 hours.
There is also a range of wheat free cakes and goodies too.
And in addition to the piles of pizzas and pizzetta, there’s a grilled cheese sourdough sandwich, a Marsh Pig fennel salami on focaccia bread and a host of many other delicious sandwiches on offer.
“As a chef, I honed my skills in top London restaurants working alongside some of the biggest names in British cookery. Originally in Norwich to establish a boutique hotel restaurant, I fell in love with the area and its wealth of fresh local produce. So I happily made the move from London with my partner Sally. However, we soon missed our local source of handmade speciality bread. We decided to start our own specialist bakery, and in February 2008 Pye Baker of Norwich began baking artisan bread developed from my own recipes.”
Why Pye Baker? “People are always asking why we called the company Pye Baker. Pye is the original old English spelling of ‘pie’ and traditionally, under the ‘Norwich Charter’ the local baker had to bake a Yarmouth Pye as a tax or levy to the King. I am a huge fan of cooking history, so Pye Baker of Norwich seemed the perfect choice! ”
There’s parking for customers conveniently located outside the shop.
Mon-Sat: 6:30am – 5pm
For full details of how to place a telephone order:
The Pye Baker Bakery
132 Dereham Road
T: 01603 625633