Little Bread Pedlar is committed to delivering excellence in the fields of artisan bread and pastry.
Since our founding in 2010 we have pursued as both a business and individuals an ever-receding and unobtainable standard of the best product. We don't mean the tastiest, or one most true to its original form but the best product as a whole, taking into account its ingredients, the people who make it and the environment it's made in.
Our promise to our clients - the independent restaurants and cafes we supply wholesale, along with the public who we sell to every Saturday of the year at Spa Terminus - is to never settle
This is our promise, and below are our pillars.
We are only able to do what we do because we employ talented, hard-working people who are allowed to do what they do best. We hire individuals with an entrepreneurial spirit and encourage innovation in process and production.
Our work is meaningful. We take pride in every croissant and every loaf that leaves our floured shutter doors in the morning.
We pay London Living Wage to all members of staff.
We foster an environment of openness in regards to our financial status and company goals.
We are always striving to make our bakery a better place to work.
Our delivery vans are all electric and we use the most efficient routes possible to get around London.
We have almost zero wastage from our breads and pastries, and when there is any we distribute to those in need along with our friends and neighbours.
We use environmentally friendly cleaning products.
Our staff meals rarely contain meat, and when they do they are sourced form a local supplier where we can be sure of the provenance.
We really do use the best ingredients, for a simple reason – they taste better.
We use as many local suppliers as possible, especially as we're surrounded by some of the best food producers in London. We use beer from The Brewery in our stout loaf, milk from Neal's Yard Dairy in our pastry cream, Mons cheeses in our pastries and Puntarelle & Co fruits and vegetables. We also source at times cured meats and cheeses from Ham & Cheese Co, fresh meat from The Butchery and honey from The London Honey Co.
We fuel our staff with Coleman Coffee.
Little Bread Pedlar is owned and operated by Martin Hardiman and Maria Alafouzou.
LBP was founded in 2010 by Nichola Gensler and Martin Hardiman. Nichola Gensler developed all of our initial products, and was the brilliant maverick behind the pastries we still make today. Martin headed up our innovative and efficient delivery system first with bicycles and now with our electric vans. Adam Sellar joined the team a few years later to set up our incredible bread offering. In the spring of 2018 both Nichola and Adam left to pursue new adventures.
Please read Martin's original founders story below.
I met Nic at a roller disco party under the railway arches of London Bridge in October 2009. Within days of our first encounter we met again and hatched a plan to one day open a little cafe together. I had always been a pedlar of some sort and Nic was a pastry chef in some fancy restaurant in the East End with a pig for its logo.
It wasn’t long before we left our jobs determined to utilise our skills and go into business together. We started out as pedlars selling our wares from a stall at Camden Lock Market. I knew Nic had something special when tourists did an about turn as they walked away chomping on a valrhona chocolate brownie to give the thumbs up, amazed and delighted to find such high quality baking among other vendors like the vampire pizza stand or the pina-colada pineapple man.
Most of 2010 was spent baking for a growing band of loyal clients at Tatchbrook Street Market in Pimlico. We continued to live hand to mouth from our takings at the mercy of the elements and public holidays.
Nic strives for excellence in anything she does, valuing only the taste, crumb or bite and never pandering to style or gimmicks. She was obsessed with texture and flavour and the science in the making of sponges and cakes, brownies, bread and preserves, making everything we sold on the stall. Our clients loved it all but a market stall has a limited shop window and we had to find a product that we could wholesale.
From the off, our brownies were a hit and soon they were joined by croissants. We owe a thanks to Michel Roux, it was his pastry book which originally inspired Nic to develop her unique take on the croissant, the product that transformed the business and our lives. During the summer of 2010 we set about building the foundations of what made LBP what it is today. Nic honed her croissant method, we moved to a new kitchen near Tower Bridge, developed routes for our deli bicycle delivery service and invested in a fleet of Pashley deli bikes which are now synonymous with Little Bread Pedlar.
We worked night and day with the pastry, Nic learning and becoming an expert in the science, resulting in the LBP croissant that is loved today. Everyone enjoyed the new samples and as a result we gained significant contracts from well known coffee shops and restaurants. As the business grew, we moved into an old rundown warehouse unit on the Spa Terminus project site and for the next 4 years we worked long and hard - mostly 7 day weeks building a small but mighty business.
We always had the goal of eventually getting our own railway arch and wholesaling bread but when the offer from Spa came we found ourselves at a crossroads. Nic and I were a little exhausted, the personal sacrifices for the company had taken their toll and now we were contemplating calling it a day or facing what would amount to starting over again.
Adam Sellar, a knowledgable and talented head chef and highly respected baker was also a dear old friend of Nic’s from their days chefing together at the Old Bell Hotel in Hurley. We decided to see if Adam was interested in joining team LBP and taking the Pedlar to the next level. Adam happily accepted the offer and we accepted the move into our three beautiful railway arches, transforming them over the next year into a well equipped and well drilled wholesale bakery.
Adam has developed a range of breads, much the talk of the town and equaling what we had already achieved in the early days of pastry, making the Little Bread Pedlar a most formidable bakery of the highest quality.
We knew bread was going to be a challenge to move by pedal power but we tried hard. Reaching 6 bikes going out daily, pedlars tripping over each other, we soon agreed it just wasn’t sustainable. Our new 100% electric delivery vans revolutionised our delivery capacity but one bike route still remains essential to the fleet, navigating the rush hour to reach all the nooks and crannies to find the central London coffee shops that have always been our bread and butter.
What’s made us special from the start was Nic’s hard work, obsession and dedication to quality and producing the best, Adam also has the same philosophy, they are from the same school. This ethos, work ethic and knowledge remains always at our core and is passed down to our growing team of excellent bakers and pedlars as we strive to share our food with as many as we can throughout the streets of London.