STORY: Northwest bakery Lovingly Artisan re-introduce a bygone essential

Multi-award-winning bakery Lovingly Artisan, with sites in Altrincham, Manchester and Kendal, Cumbria have just introduced something that was once a commonplace and essential part of daily life across the UK - the bread van.

But this is a bread van with a difference. Known as the ‘’Bread Truck’’ it won’t just be doing the rounds of communities where people can’t get their hands on artisan made sourdough breads, it’ll be popping up at all manner of events across the northwest; including country shows, farmers markets and foodie events of all shapes and sizes.

But that’s not all, as well as providing people with the opportunity to purchase freshly baked Lovingly Artisan breads and pastries, the ‘’Bread Truck’’ also doubles up as a mini mobile shop, selling a range of carefully selected artisan made produce and handy kitchenalia, and to round things off rather nicely, it’s also kitted out to serve up freshly brewed barista style coffees too.

Inspired by tales of Aidan Monks and his grandad delivering freshly bread together from a bread van, which trailed across the Lake District, from his grandad’s bakery in Ambleside, Catherine Conner decided to see what she could do to recreate a little bit of that history for Aidan’s own bakery.

Brim full of ideas Catherine initially sketched out a few, before paying a visit to Eclectic Creative in Staveley, who she worked with to bring those initial concepts to life. Then with a full design brief in place, Aidan and Catherine set about securing a vehicle for the job. With that phase finally completed, Catherine, designs in hand, paid a visit to Wilkinson Mobile Catering Systems in Darwin, Lancashire, to bring everything to life. They quickly set to and carried out a full fit out, adding bespoke fittings to the interior created by artisan blacksmith Shaun Bainbridge. 

With the work complete the couple took delivery of the ‘’Bread Truck’’ as it’s become known, and set about making plans to plot up at Kendal Farmer’s Market for a trial run or two. Happy that it does the job it was designed to, the couple are now busy planning regular locations to roll out the ‘’Bread Truck,’’ as well as a calendar of appearances at events across the Northwest such as the Westmorland County Show.

Catherine Connor, co-owner of Lovingly Artisan Bakery said: ‘’The bread van was something that was an integral part of how we used to shop, it would plot up in a regular location, you’d buy your freshly baked bread and perhaps a few other staples you might need such as butter or milk and after it’s allotted time it would be on its way until next the next week. Bread vans up and down the country provided a regular service that whole communities could rely on, but not only that they were a great way for people to get to know each other. And there’s no doubt we’ve lost that connection between people in recent years, so inspired by tales of Aidan making bread deliveries with his grandad in his bread van I decided we should try and do something about it and recapture a little of that way of doing things by introducing our ‘’Bread Truck’’.’’

For more information about Bread Truck locations keep an eye on the Lovingly Artisan website: