Story of How Jacqui Founded The Yorkshire Baking Club
“I had a very clear view about my career path at an early age. I wanted to combine my favourite school subjects, Maths and the sciences, and overlay my creativity. Food science was the perfect choice for me.
Although I came from a very working class family who didn’t have much understanding of further education and university – my Dad being a miner and my mum a housewife and mother to six children – it did not stop them from encouraging me to follow my chosen career.
I pursued a 2 year practical baking course at Granville College, Sheffield and went on to complete a Bachelor of Science at Manchester.
Some of my first jobs include pork pie making in a local butchers, where I persuaded him to let me make some cake to sell as well, and I taught cake decoration in and around Doncaster.
However, my first real job utilising my degree to the full was with Lyons cakes in Barnsley. I got to work on recipes ranging from swiss rolls to apple pies, puff pastry and battenburg cakes. It laid fabulous groundwork to put me in the best place to explore the rest of the industry.”
“Since then, I have worked for some key iconic bakeries across England, Scotland and Europe, developing their brands whether they were cake, dessert, or bread products up until 2006. The biggest buzz is to see the products reach supermarket shelves and to know that I had a huge part in developing the recipes. This included making sure the correct shelf life can be obtained, supplying the nutritional values and helping with the pack photography and packaging design.
Some of my claims to fame are having played a key part in developing the first caterpillar cake back in the 1980’s. I also designed cakes for a Polish bakery which are still being manufactured. I developed the Jaffa mini roll, Mars branded cake bars for McVitie’s and caramel shortcakes for Thorntons. I even commissioned production lines to make flapjack bars available for purchase in all the supermarkets.”
“In 2006, I made a huge step and became self employed, working as a consultant to the baking industry. This opened doors to a wide variety of different manufactures, making my job even more interesting and exciting.”
“I am really excited to have found the opportunity once again to combine my two passions, traditional baking and sharing my skills, in this new venture with Yorkshire Baking Club. I’ve gathered 32 years of experience and skills working with large and small companies across the country and parts of Europe. I can’t wait to share it with anyone who has an interest or passion to bake.”