£ 5000 is the essential target to employ two more members of staff
Achieving this goal would allow us to take on two part-time Bakery Assistants enabling Birgit to step back from her daily jobs in the bakery whilst handing over responsibilities to an experienced baker within the business. It would allow her to slow down a bit and focus on creating new delicious bread, cakes and biscuits.
In the future, Birgit would like to offer bread making courses to share the joy of making bread with the community.
About Continental Crumbs
Birgit founded Continental Crumbs in 2009 as a part-time business, baking cakes and biscuits from home. Due to her success, she started running it as a full-time business after just six months. Her husband Oliver joined later due to growing demand for the bread range which initially had only been created for one-off wedding venues. But it seems like somehow this is what our customers have been waiting for.
In 2011 we moved into our first business premises as the domestic kitchen just wasn’t big enough.
We started selling our products at Farmers Markets and Food Festivals. In addition we started to supply various Farm shops, Delis and local shops in Devon.
The demand for our bread has continued to increase.
Since we moved into our first unit we’ve been growing month by month and in 2014/2015 we managed to turn the business into a profitable one.
But it’s still artisan. Every loaf is lovingly prepared and handmade until it goes into the oven. We don’t use any readymade mixes: everything is made from scratch using high quality ingredients. All recipes are developed and created Birgit. It's not the cheapest way to supply bread, but it ensures wonderful flavour.
We have many loyal, regular customers who visit us at the Totnes Market or order online in our website. In addition, we supply a few local shops with our bread in Totnes, Ashburton, Bovey Tracey and Tavistock.
2015 was the first year we managed to employ up to 7 part-time employees, supplying our bread to wholesale customers and retail customers at the Totnes Market regularly every Friday, Saturday and once a month on Sundays.
Things looked extremely promising until March 2016, when Birgit has been diagnosed with breast cancer. A time when a personal journey with many ups and downs started – which is difficult enough – but with the bakery in the background and Birgit being the key person within the bakery… it was not easy as you can imagine.
Being a fighter she managed to work whilst undergoing chemo treatment. Even after her operation Birgit was back at work within two weeks (although limited, but at least back on her feet). Not just because of her passion and dedication… another reason is that being self-employed does make it difficult to step back when needed, if you haven’t got the financial background.
However: she made it!
At the beginning of 2017 when the treatment was over and everything seemed to be ready for a break (deserved and needed), circumstances made it impossible.
Several problems… with the main and most challenging one being: loss of the unit we were working in and trading from. This has taken away the remaining energy from her. Energy Birgit needed for her recovery, and energy needed to keep the business growing. Actually this has been the main reason for shrinking the business as Birgit couldn’t cope with everything as she did before.
Moving a business within three months (as we were given notice by our previous landlords due to sewage problems…) seemed to be impossible. But somehow we’ve managed to find a new home for our bakery in South Brent. And that’s the magical/mysterious thing about it: whenever it looks like it’s impossible to cope with a “challenge” we find light at the end of the tunnel and we strongly believe in Continental Crumbs!
Now as we are settled in South Brent and are back “up and running” we are ready to grow again.
We only need a little help!
Love has been the reason for moving from Germany to the UK.
Passion for food has been the reason setting up Continental Crumbs in 2009.
And passion and love are the secret ingredients she is using for our products. Never happy unless it’s perfect (nearly perfect).
Despite what happened over the last two years, Birgit is full of ideas for new products very often based on suggestions coming up whilst talking about bread/food with customers and friends.
There’s just not enough time and energy to work on it…
Birgit needs to hibernate for a while in the bakery and create delicious new cakes, biscuits and types of bread.
Before Birgit moved to the UK she worked as a Personal Banker in Germany. In her last position she worked as a Training Office in charge for all apprentices who started a new career within banking. And although she's not missing the job itself, she is missing working with young enthusiastic people. It’s been a great experience to train them and share knowledge. She’d love to offer this in the future, taking on apprentices working for Continental Crumbs.
What You Get
We've got some great rewards for anyone who wants to help us out. You can get your hands on some of our delicious handmade bread; get vouchers to learn how to bake specialty bread such as Olive bread, Chilli Cheese and many more.
If you live further away, and can't get to our bakery easily, why not choose a bread hamper filled with a great selection of our bread freshly baked by us and delivered to your doorstep (free shipping to UK mainland).