The Loving spoonful

The Ginger Baker cafe and cake shop in Berry Lane, Longridge, run by Sharon Loving and daughter Niamh
The Ginger Baker cafe and cake shop in Berry Lane, Longridge, run by Sharon Loving and daughter Niamh
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The Ginger Baker is a new gluten-free, family run restaurant, cafe and cake shop in Berry Lane, Longridge. Reporter ROSIE SWARBRICK finds out what it’s like to work there.

A talented baker has swapped muddy knees for mixing bowls.

The Ginger Baker cafe and cake shop in Berry Lane, Longridge, run by Sharon Loving

The Ginger Baker cafe and cake shop in Berry Lane, Longridge, run by Sharon Loving

Former gardener Sharon Loving spent 20 years cultivating plants, but the life-long baker has downed her trowel and followed her dreams.

Sharon’s restaurant and cake shop, The Ginger Baker, is a family affair and opened 10 weeks ago in Berry Lane, Longridge near Preston.

And the 42-year-old Longridge local named the business that she runs with her two daughters, Niamh, 22 and Aoife, 20, after her fiery hair.

She said: “I called it the Ginger Baker because I have ginger hair.

The Ginger Baker cafe and cake shop in Berry Lane, Longridge Niamh Loving

The Ginger Baker cafe and cake shop in Berry Lane, Longridge Niamh Loving

“I have two of my daughters working with me, we get on better than ever now we work together.”

All of the produce in the cafe are gluten free and Sharon revealed the stance was a happy accident.

She said: “We make 90 per cent of the cakes, we bake fresh bread every day and everything is gluten-free.

“There are some strict guidelines and so rather than have half of our products gluten-free, we decided it was easier to make them all gluten-free.”

The keen baker was urged to turn her hobby into a career after bringing samples into work and getting great feedback from colleagues.

She said: “We have always baked, my mother was always baking when I was young and I have always baked with the children.

“I was working as a gardener and I was always taking cakes in.

“Someone suggested charging people and it has all gone from there.

“I started baking and taking the goods to stalls, I sold cakes at Clitheroe food festival, the market in Preston, everywhere.

“I’d been selling at the local markets and small craft shows.

“The goods always sold out, we never went home with any cake and then it was either I stopped doing it, or open a cafe.

“And so I stopped gardening and opened a cafe.

The shop opens seven days a week from 9.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Saturday and from 11am-2.30pm on Sunday.

And Sharon believes hard-work is the key to the businesses storming start.

She said: “The secret to the success is being a workaholic and surviving off little sleep.

“We’ve had a good response from local people.

“It has been a busy few weeks and hopefully it will continue.

“We are open seven days a week and we also sometimes host events out of hours.

“We sold out all of the cakes this weekend.

“Our most popular item is our afternoon tea, which has a variety of cakes and bakewell tarts are a big seller, we often sell out of them.

“My aim is to open many more cafe shops, expand the brand, business has been great so hopefully we can keep that up.”

For more information visit their website: www.thegingerbaker.com