It’s been another long night for Penarth Bakery’s Gareth Spray producing the hundreds of hot-cross buns which will be snapped-up by loyal customers during today.
Gareth runs Penarth Bakery – the town’s only traditional bakery – and its well-known retail shop at Cornerwell Road.
Gareth was at work at 23:00 last night making the latest batches by hand – ready to slide inside the big, black, traditional cast-iron, gas-fired ovens at the Plassey St bakery .
The legendary bread, cakes and rolls he produces are augmented every Easter by the demand for freshly-baked – Penarth-made – hot cross buns.
Penarth’s hot-cross-buns aren’t like ordinary buns. They have a secret ingredient – a special spice produced to order which gives the buns their unique flavour. Every bun looks so uniform, customers might well assume they’re machine-made – but each one has been rolled individually by hand and then the “crosses” – made of a special batter – are individually piped onto each one.
Competition in the bakery business though is fierce. Although Penarth Bakery has a long-established reputation of making the best bread in town – Gareth and his staff still have to be prepared to match – and compete with – the price-cutting of retail giants like Tesco .
This Easter, Penarth Bakery’s hot-cross-buns are being sold at £2 for 6 – which Gareth hopes is not only undercutting his supermarket competitors on price, but is also outperforming them on quality. Judging from the demand, he’s absolutely right.