herald

Friday 2 December 2016

Simon goes from figures to flour ... and bakes up a real tale of success

Simon May of Bread Naturally with a selection of his award-winning bread outside his shop in Raheny Picture: Tony Gavin
Simon May of Bread Naturally with a selection of his award-winning bread outside his shop in Raheny Picture: Tony Gavin

He swapped figures for flour only 18 months ago and it's already paying off for retired accountant Simon May whose baguettes have been hailed as the best in Ireland.

The 65-year-old's bakery Bread Naturally is in high demand from locals in Raheny - and often welcomes more than 200 customers on Saturdays.

Simon was over the moon this week after being honoured at the Blas na hEireann Food Awards.

"We won two golds, a bronze and a silver this year. The golds were for a baguette and a white sour dough, the silver was for a batard, and the bronze was for a multi-grain sourdough," he told the Herald.

Healthier

Simon, who comes from Zimbabwe, started baking 32 years ago when he was looking for healthier alternatives for his son who suffered from food allergies.

"My grandfather was Irish, he was a Kilkenny man. I knew nobody in Ireland when I came so I headed for the big smoke and looked for work. I didn't have a job, I didn't know anyone.

"It (the business) started 18 or 19 months ago when I retired as an accountant and decided to start a bakery and was basically looking for something to do in retirement to keep working," he said.

Needed

"I decided a fully blown bakery was vitally needed in Raheny.

"On a daily basis I get about 140-odd people through the door and on a Saturday it's over 200."

Simon carries several different types of produce from focaccia to doughnuts but claimed his bread is much healthier than what is sold in multi-chain bakeries.

"It's prepared naturally, it has no additives or preservatives," he said.

"It has nothing in it but flour, salt, water and yeast. Big bakeries do it different.

"They don't produce bread that is real bread.

"Bread is very healthy. It's a staple food. We don't put any sugar into it."

Prices in Bread Naturally range from € 2.70 to €4.50.

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