Since starting The Free From Baker in March 2019, which I run alongside another job, a lot has happened: I was commissioned to make my first of many wedding cakes, made it to the Final of the Youth Market Trader of the year. I also featured on the BBC One Show and Kristie's Handmade Christmas winning the Gingerbread House episode. in 2020 I made The Free From Baker my FULL TIME JOB and moved myself and the business to Leeds! But let me start by introducing myself…
My name is Stephen and I am the Free From Baker. I run the business from my home kitchen, just outside Leeds city centre in Armley. I was diagnosed coeliac nearly 20 years ago when I was 7. It wasn’t the easiest growing up coeliac, 18 years ago there was no such thing as the free from aisle in supermarkets. However, I told myself that I would never let being coeliac stop me doing what I wanted to do, and it has ended up bringing me to this moment, running my own business. My passion for baking started when I was growing up, baking at home with my Granny and Mum (who is also coeliac). Something I now do with my niece and nephews.
Since the age of 14, I have worked on and off in hospitality whilst studying at school and later the University of York. In fact, most of my jobs have been in hospitality working my way up from potwasher to chef at my local village pub, pulling pints and waiting on. After this I went and spent 6 months working as a chef in a seafood restaurant in Sydney, during my year out backpacking across Australia.
But my biggest influence, was working at the Artisan Gluten Free Bakery and Café in Newark On Trent, spending 2 years there as baker and then going on to be manager. I learnt so much and it gave me an opportunity to improve my baking skills and experiment with new recipes, as well as how to run a business.
In October 2018, I went on The Great British Bake Off Extra Slice, Episode 8, Danish week. I had the most incredible day of filming in London, meeting Jo Brand and Tom Allen. I made a Danish Kransekake, a 10 ring ground almond based biscuit tower, entirely gluten free. Each ring was decorated so that it represented a week of the competition. To top off an already great day, I won STAR BAKER!
In March 2019 I launched The Free From Baker. Since then I've made my first ever wedding cakes, attended numerous markets, made dozens of cupcakes and lots of beautiful cakes.
Feel free to get in touch, I would love to hear from you.