The Name’s Bond… Simon Bond, The Man with the Golden Platter.
Simon Bond is now the proud owner of ‘The Golden Platter Bakery’ in Imperial Avenue, Mayland having worked there as a baker for sixteen years. Paul Carden, as was mentioned in last month’s Mayl, who he worked for has now retired. Simon is an experienced and skilled baker and has always worked in the trade. When he left school, he joined the local bakers in Kingskerwell in Devon as an apprentice and all his training was hands on. One evening he was relaxing at home and watching the local news when he saw there was a serious fire at his place of work. The building was gutted and as a result shut down the business. He was forced to move on. He has worked in many places around the country including a Motorway Services Station, where he expanded their bakery department.
He has also worked in a Don Millers instore bakery in the Co-op for three years and opened a new store for them in Brixham. He worked for a period of time in a large factory in reading, which used fifteen vans to deliver bread to shops and factories. This was all good experience for Simon but most of them were not traditional bakers where the bread is baked from scratch.
Luckily, as Simon was willing to be flexible as to which part of the country he worked in, he has never been out of a job since he began working at fifteen. In October 2001 he saw a job advertised in Maylandsea. It was a busy bakers shop where all the bread was made daily in the traditional way using only four ingredients. Just what he was looking for.
When he joined The Golden Platter, Simon first worked as a night baker arriving at about 8pm most days and 6pm on a Friday and working through the night on the premises. He didn’t have far to travel to work though as he lives above the shop. Each night he made a variety of loaves and rolls including white, wholemeal and granary, making around 120 loaves of bread a day. They include bloomers, sandwich tins, farmhouse large and small, crusty and brown and white soft rolls and the popular seeded knots.
About fifty percent of what is made is for the shop and the rest for local businesses. These include The Three Rivers Country Club, Nisa in Southminster, Wrekins Farm Shop, Chapmans Burnham Bakery, Bradwell Power Station and Community Shop. He also makes the doughnuts and Danish pastries.
It is the night baker’s job to put the last batch of bread dough, usually rolls and French sticks, in the retarder ovens which are pre-set. Retarder ovens are a combination of fridge and warming oven. Four hours before the baker comes in that evening the ovens start to warm up so that the bread is all ‘proved’ and ready to be cooked as the first job. No time wasted.
Who would have thought that so much activity was taking place each night and so early in the morning as most of us are asleep in our beds?
Simon then moved to daytime work, if you call 4am daytime!
He starts by packing the wholesale orders ready for the van driver’s arrival at 6.30am and then sets the shop up. He then starts work on making cakes, savouries and pastry’s, whatever is needed that day. At 6am Jan or Gina arrive to make the sandwiches and filled rolls for the many workmen who use the shop.
The counter staff then arrive at 7am to start the day when the shop is then open throughout until it closes at 4pm or until the school pupils have called in to buy cakes when they get off the bus on their return from school.
Luckily for his customers Simon really enjoys the job and takes pride in his work, which he has been doing all of his working life and is now happy to settle down in Mayland and carry on making fresh bread each day.
He told me he has a great team of staff behind him and they are very happy he is their new boss. He wants to continue to provide a good service to his customers and has plans to introduce new lines in the future but will be guided by what his customers require.
I am sure we all wish him well in his new role and long may we have a bakery in Mayland. Do pay the shop a visit if you have not been before. You won’t be disappointed. Customers come from near and far. I spoke to a customer in the shop who was from North Fambridge and she said that it was a real treat to come to the shop as there weren’t many proper bakers around.