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Wapping: How Bread And Macaroon is expanding through its market stalls

Wapping Docklands Market and Canada Water Market regulars started bakery in Bermondsey

Bread And Macaroon co-founder Fouad Saber in Wapping

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It’s the immediacy of contact Fouad Saber loves when it comes to markets.

The co-founder of Bread And Macaroon, which trades at Squid’s Wapping Docklands Market and Canada Water Market, relishes customers’ reactions to the breads, pastries and tarts the brand sells face-to-face.

“We started this business during lockdown,” said Fouad.

“My business partner, Bertrand Kerleo and I had both lost our jobs – everyone was stuck at home, but we saw an opportunity.

“We brought the two things we were doing together in June 2020 at a bakery in Bermondsey. If you go there, you will see it’s an open space.

“There’s a front-of-house area where you can have a coffee and so on, but you can see through to the bakery and what people are doing. 

“It’s all in front of people, which is interesting because they can see how everything is made.

“We always had a lot of interaction with our customers there and that’s what we like on the stalls too.

“We started doing markets in May 2021 and that’s one of the ways we’re growing our business. 

“You get to see what people think of your products and also it’s easier to expand like this because you can try different locations without being tied into a lease for maybe five years on a shop.”

Originally called Bread A Manger, the company has since been renamed after a David and Goliath tussle with Pret, which was apparently concerned the startup might impact its brand in the long term.

Quite where the confusion might lie is anyone’s guess as the two companies offer markedly different things – one a byword for pre-packaged convenience food and the other for wholesale and retail artisanal baked goods.

While Bertrand has an extensive background as a baker and pastry chef, Fouad brings more than 20 years of food-based business experience to the table making the pair a formidable team.

“I’ve been working in baking for about five or six years,” said Fouad. 

“Before that I was managing businesses for other people in the UK – coffee shops, for example – but I was always in hospitality.

“In France, my background was in supermarkets.

“After training as a barber originally, I started working for Carrefour just as a crew member. 

“Then in six years I became a store manager before making the move to Switzerland.

“I’m not an academic guy. I never learnt English at school and had no idea how to speak it.

“But to grow up, you need to speak it, so I decided to come to London in 2013.

“I enjoyed my time here and decided to stay. With Bread And Macaroon, we started slowly with different plans and strategies. 

“We began with retail although now about 70% of our business is in the wholesale market where we sell our products to other businesses.

“We are a fresh bakery – nearly everything is made from scratch every day because it tastes better that way, including the croissants, the cakes and the bread. 

“We are not too expensive, but we make sure we are selling quality products.

“Anything we don’t sell gets donated to charity to help those in need in Bermondsey.

“A lot of bakeries keep bread for two or three days because you can, but we’re French – we believe you lose flavour that way.

“Our tarts are our main business and the most popular flavour is the lemon curd.

“They really are very refined – you can’t really find this product elsewhere in London, and this is why they are successful.

“For the filling, the curd takes 48 hours to make. We cook the lemon juice in a bain-marie with eggs and cream and then pipe it onto the tart while it’s still warm.

“Then it goes straight into the freezer – from 30ºC to -18ºC so it retains its shape, topped with an edible flower as a finishing touch.”

Bread And Macaroon sells a wide range of sweet and savoury pastries at Wapping Docklands Market and Canada Water Market

With costs rising, Bread And Macaroon’s first priority is to weather the economic storm by tailoring the products it offers to the new conditions.

After that, it plans to expand its retail offering through more stalls.

“In the next five years, we expect to have a presence at five or six more markets,” said Fouad.

“Of course people can order our products online – and we love that. But you don’t get the same level of interaction or the atmosphere of coming to a market if you do that.

“I grew up with French markets, which typically sell fruit and vegetables, so that’s different again. Here you get street food and all sorts of other things.

“For me, the difference between a shop and a market is that people who come to our stalls are out in the fresh air – it’s a destination. 

“Going to a shop is more just for shopping and I think over the next 40 years, that attraction will never change.”

Bread And Macaroon can be found at Wapping Docklands Market on Saturdays at Brussels Wharf beside Shadwell Basin and Canada Water Market at Deal Porter Square on Sundays. Both run from 10am-4pm.

Its shop can be found at Market Place in Bermondsey and orders can be placed online for most items including cakes and special requests.

Follow Bread And Macaroon on Insta here.

THREE OF THE BEST

We’ve selected three treats from Bread And Macaroon that are must-tries if you’re visiting the markets:

Bread And Macaroon’s top selling Lemon Curd Tart

1. First on the list is the Lemon Curd Tart – the brand’s top seller – which costs £4.99. Piled high, this vertical wonder is both mouth and Instagram-ready thanks to its floral decoration and glossy, zesty topping

The brand’s Galette Des Rois

2. Next up is the festive Galette Des Rois. Served on special occasions at family gatherings, this regal bake has a coin inside. Everyone sits round, takes a slice and the person with the treasure gets to be king or queen for a day. The crown is, of course, included for £12

Rosemary foccacia is available for £3

3. Our final pick is this deeply savoury bread. Costing just £3, this sea salt and rosemary foccacia is ideal for taking home and dipping or slicing for use in sandwiches. It’s a decent size and would also go well with a hearty winter soup

Read more: How Clays’ new bar has Canary Wharf in its sights

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- Jon Massey is co-founder and editorial director of Wharf Life and writes about a wide range of subjects in Canary Wharf, Docklands and east London - contact via jon.massey@wharf-life.com
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Wapping: How Wapping Docklands Market provides a platform for small businesses

Zeroo Markets founder Will Cutteridge talks under-used land, sustainability and his plans for expansion

Will Cutteridge of Wapping Docklands Market
Will Cutteridge of Wapping Docklands Market – image Matt Grayson

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Will Cutteridge is a bit of a visionary. Where some see awkward, unused expanses of land left over from Docklands’ industrial past, he sees opportunity.

Take the patch of cobbles, wharf and compacted earth beside the Glamis Road bascule bridge, for example. 

Walk under the crossing’s red riveted metalwork, turn right through a gate off Wapping Wall at the entrance to Shadwell Basin you have the site of his first venture under the banner of Zeroo Markets.

“I worked in commercial property for five years on an apprenticeship scheme, changing teams every year,” said Will. “It was managing real estate in many different formats, but it wasn’t for me.

“When I was very young and working in property – I was 17 when I joined the industry – I didn’t have much money so I was looking at ways of making some extra cash on the weekends. 

“I started working for a company called Bath Soft Cheese who have a farm just outside of Bath, funnily enough.

“The job was selling their products at various markets around London and I absolutely loved it.

“Before I became an apprentice I’d had an interest in starting my own business of some kind. I had experience of real estate and markets – I didn’t enjoy one of them so the other one seemed the obvious place to go.

Hannah Nicholson of Peaches
Hannah Nicholson of Peaches – image Matt Grayson

“I think people are increasingly conscious of sustainability, the environment and the future of the planet.

“That was also an interest of mine, so I wanted to see how I could work that into my ideas and actually make a difference. 

“I felt almost a moral duty to factor that into my business plan and markets provide a brilliant platform for primary producers to sell their products at a price that doesn’t need to compete with large commercial supermarkets. 

Chegworth Valley, for example, is our fruit and veg supplier based in Kent, so it’s only 50 miles away.

“Our butcher is in Leicester, so that’s about 100 miles. When you buy a steak in a supermarket for £3, it may well have come from Australia or Texas.

“It’s far better to shop local and we describe ourselves as a sustainable alternative.”

By we, Will means Wapping Docklands Market, the venture he launched in April after founding his company in October 2020.

“The most important thing to do is to find the site, get the right demographic and then apply to the landowner,” he said. “In this case it’s Tower Hamlets Council.

“This was just an abandoned car park – it’s not used by anyone for anything.”

Egle Kleivaite of Stomping Grounds
Egle Kleivaite of Stomping Groundsimage Matt Grayson

Visitors to the market, which normally operates on Saturdays, will find a range of traders.

“It’s lots of different things for many different kinds of customer,” said Will.

“For the residents of Wapping and further afield in east London, it provides an opportunity to support local businesses and to get their weekly shop in from us.

“A lot of people do that – one of our best performing pitches is the fruit and veg stall. People do support that mission.

“We also have a pub, in effect, operated by the Krafty Braumeister.

Visitors can come and have a beer and enjoy refreshments from a plethora of street food stalls as well.

“On average our products have travelled 900 miles less when compared with a like-for-like product in a supermarket, so what we’re doing is working, and we’re always looking to improve.

“That’s a very important part of the market and attracts a younger crowd.”

Ben Tyler-Wray of Celtic Bakers
Ben Tyler-Wray of Celtic Bakers image Matt Grayson

The market also features baked goods, gifts, clothing and homewear brands.

“It’s been going really well since we launched and the local community have taken to it really well and we’re immensely grateful to them for that.

“We’re still trading strongly despite the weather turning. We don’t see a dip in our footfall with cold – it’s wind and rain that can be the problem.

“We want to continue to operate here and to extend our normal operation to Sundays and then Fridays, which is what we’re doing for Christmas.

“Eventually I’d love to work with the council to redevelop the site with a temporary canopy in the style of Borough Market and have a high street in a market setting.

“That potential is what we’re looking for at all of our sites.

“That’s why we wouldn’t operate at schools, for example, because it’s not under utilised space and there would be no flexibility to expand there. 

“With our next ventures, I’m looking to keep it local – my dad lives in Wapping and, while I’m in Holloway at the moment, I’m looking to move to the area. 

“We’re in contact with a number of local authorities, private developers and private landlords on a number of sites around east London.”

Brendan Preece of Brnd And Co
Brendan Preece of Brnd And Co image Matt Grayson

Wapping Docklands Market is always interested to hear from potential traders.

Will said: “There’s an application form on our website, which goes straight through to us.

“There are lots of things we’d love to add to the market. I’d love to have a crèche. A lot of parents come here with their kids and say they’d love to stay longer but have to leave because of them.

“I think a lot of adults would like that freedom to go and see Uli Schiefelbein – the Krafty Braumeister for a beer.

“He’s completely eccentric and totally awesome in every way and is great to talk to.”

As for the future, Will intends to create a business model called Squid, designed to work with landlords to generate value from under utilised space.

In the meantime, Wapping Docklands Market will be open Fridays (3pm-10pm), Saturdays and Sundays (10am-5pm) throughout December, before taking a break until January 19.

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