Local Business Focus: Sean’s Loaf
December 4, 2020
From working for Gordon Ramsay in three-star Michelin restaurants, to life as a chef on a tiny island on the Great Barrier Reef, Sean Chambers has travelled the world doing what he loves.
Yet after 23 years as a chef he has returned home, for a new adventure running Sean’s Loaf, a microbakery in Cricklewood which makes home deliveries of everything from loaves and baguettes to mince pies and chocolate chestnut brownies.
And as Sean tells it, he can’t think of a more satisfying way to earn his dough.
“I started the business in January, and by April I was already delivering to areas all over north London,” he said.
“I got into baking bread at home five years ago, and it’s just gone from there.
“The business has coincided with COVID-19 but it’s actually been an opportunity for me because more people have been at home, whether that’s because they can’t go into the office or because they’ve been furloughed. But there’s also been a challenge, because we’ve had our kids at home whilst launching a new business.”
Sean’s Loaf delivers across north London every Wednesday and Saturday, while producing for wholesale the rest of the week. That means he starts work at 11pm on a Friday night, baking for seven-and-a-half hours before starting his deliveries. As a result he covers around 100 miles a week on his electric bike, in addition to mixing 50-60kg of dough by hand.
“It’s been a very physical six or seven months!” he admits.
Sean grew up in West Hampstead and Kilburn before his culinary career took him across the globe. He has worked with food all his life, from working in restaurants in the UK, Europe and Australia, to time on a juice bar in Borough Market. Or as he puts it: “I have done most things that can be done in a kitchen.”
But Sean’s Loaf is the first time he has been a full-time baker – and he is relishing the new experience.
Luckily his wife, who he met while working for Gordon Ramsay in London before they started travelling the world together, works as a pastry chef. And as a result of their overlapping careers, the Chambers family’s home kitchen was already well-suited to this new career.
He said: “I’ve worked in many different restaurants, but bread is a whole different kind of beast.
“Even after 23 years as a chef, I still find it fascinating – and I hope that means I create the best food I can.”
Find out more, including seeing the full selection of items Sean sells, here.
We will be focusing on a variety of local businesses over the coming months, helping our community to shop safe and shop local. Last month we met Natalie Wright, whose family have run Wright’s Fruit And Veg for 90 years.
If you want to nominate a local firm which deserves support, or if you run a local independent business and want to tell your story, get in touch by emailing TransformingBX@barnet.gov.uk
And you can read about other businesses across the borough here.
Barnet’s town centres, high streets and shopping precincts are open and thrilled to welcome the safe return of their customers in time for the festive season. Our business owners are working hard to ensure their premises are safe and clean for both their staff and customers.
Please ensure you follow government guidelines when shopping, dining and visiting your local town centre. The following safety precautions have been put in place to keep our local high streets safe.
Visit barnet.gov.uk/covid19 to keep up to date on the latest government safety guidelines and requirements.