My name is Birgit, not 14 any more and typical German…
Some might not know it but it started all with cakes and biscuits. A
range of bespoke handmade cakes and biscuits developed because I’ve been
asked for it such as our Coffee Lover or Tea Lover.
A time I enjoyed due to the success and the fun of creating something new.
A time I started to add bread to our range: our first plain sourdough!
And just as a one off something special for a wedding: Olive and
sun-dried tomato bread! Which later on have been our first award winning
products with some of our biscuits.
Soon they became bestseller!
Over the years bread has taken over as the demand seems to be
increasing year by year. Cakes and biscuits have been suffering from a
lack of attention as I’ve been busy creating new types of tasty loaves.
Since I added our spelt range it all got crazy: just what everyone has been waiting for!
Another award winning bread which is now our best seller – followed by our plain sourdough.
It’s been an amazing journey. All the positive feedback and success
can be like a drug. It keeps you going and it inspires. But you soon get
addicted to it. The increasing demand encouraged us to move into our
first unit in Chudleigh. How exciting and scary at the same time. Scary
as the pressure of running our business with employing and other let’s
call it challenges… have been around 24 hours a day.
We’ve managed to grow the business until 2016 when we needed to cut
down due to my cancer journey. Diagnosed in March 2016 it started a
roller coaster which somehow doesn’t end. When the chemo treatment
finished in August 2016 I thought “Well the operation can’t be as bad
and soon it’ll be better!” And actually I’ve recovered from the chemo
better than I thought. It took a while to feel better after the
operation but all in all I think there is a reason to be grateful as it
looks like it’s been a success.
But somehow the universe – or call it life – has got other plans!
2017 and 2018 (so far) have been an extended journey in the roller
coaster. Whenever I feel like I could step back and take a break another
challenge is coming up.
Loosing our unit and for a while it could have meant loosing our
business has been one of them. Pointless at this point why it all
happened as it would take too much time but it’s been putting us in a
very tough position as moving our business wasn’t our plan at all.
Ignoring the fact that we weren’t prepared for it financially and with
my cancer treatment the year before we’ve suffered from a lower income
But there is something about the business which makes me fight for
it. And believe me I’ve been fighting as a lion to find a new home for
Continental Crumbs and sort out the finances to make it happen as none
of the High Street Banks as even considering to support small business –
especially when the key person has been suffering from cancer – high
Anyhow: up and running and slowly back to normal (whatever normal means).
Somehow ready for grow again. There is still demand for our bread and
despite what has been going on I feel the spirit of make it happen. I’m
just tired and exhausted like I’ve run the marathon worn out and
excited at the same time.
It might sound unreasonable but it’s not just about my physical
recovery… And I’m aware sometimes I’m giving the impression not being
human due to the workload I manage get done. But every now and than my
emotions are overtaking as I never took the time to give them a chance
to speak up.
I am living in Devon since 2006. Although I like living
in the UK – especially in Devon – LOVE was the reason relocating from
Germany to this lovely part of the world.
I love food, fresh and high quality ingredients.
Shopping just becomes to be interesting if I am in front of a book
shop. Cooking in the evening and baking at the weekend were and are
still some of my favourite hobbies after work.
Having heart a few comments like “Why don’t you start
your own business?” or “Your biscuits are delicious – can I buy them?” I
decided to go the extra mile and started my own business in spring
2009. I’m still working in an office and like it. At the same time I’m
baking in the evening and at the weekend and enjoy it as well. It`s
passion – isn`t it?
My passion for food started when I was seven years old
and learnt cooking and baking in the north of Germany. I bought hundreds
of cooking books tried a lot of new recipes and discovered the joy of
delicious homemade cakes and biscuits.
Some of my biscuits are the result of friends asking for something special… An idea which then makes me thinking about how to create a nice biscuits.
Oliver (the reason why I am living in the UK) joined
the company in November 2009 to add our range of continental breads and
We are still developing our range and hope you like it.
Birgit & Oliver