Alcester vegan bakery aims to capture rising market for ethical eating

JT Ridge Hill Bakery

The ovens are warming up at a new vegan bakery that has set up in a small factory unit in Alcester.

The Ridge Hill Bakery is the brainchild of John McGreal and Millie Slater, specialising in vegan cakes and breakfast delights such as sausages and hash browns.

Redditch-based property agents John Truslove helped complete their recipe for business success by securing  premises – a 497 sq ft unit at 11 Tything Road East in Alcester.

The food isn’t just vegan, dairy-free and gluten free, but also comes without all sorts of additives including palm oil.

John McGreal explained: “We are making food for people like ourselves, not necessarily vegan but people who want to eat more ethically, reducing the amount of meat they eat and having a smaller impact on the environment.

“At the same time it has got to taste great so everything is made to our own original vegan recipes, whether it is the cakes or the frozen sausages and burgers.”

The last few years has seen a surge in interest in vegetarianism and veganism, with more than a quarter of a million people now trying out vegan dishes as part of ‘Veganuary’.

“We ran the café at the Botany Bay garden centre for 18 months and we saw for ourselves the appetite for vegan and vegetarian dishes. Since we left we launched Ridge Hill Bakery on Facebook because we were deluged with queries from former customers wanting to know where they could get hold of our cakes, sausages and hash browns.

“It made starting up our own bakery business a complete no-brainer. And we have been putting a lot of work into issues such as more ecologically-friendly packaging as well.

“We approached property agents John Truslove to help us find the right premises, and the second one they showed us was just what we were looking for.

“Ben Truslove and Isabelle Ellis from the agency were fantastic. The lease was sorted in just a week. It was unbelievable how efficient and helpful they were.

“With the co-operation of the landlord we have been refitting the building, putting down new easy-to-clean flooring and so on. We should be ready to launch at the beginning of February.”