The Original Baker Origins

Our story begins with The Original Baker herself, Gill Ridgard

Early Days on the Farm

My passion for food began early, growing up on the family farm. As soon as we were able to hold a brush or a shovel, we would be out in the thick of it helping on the farm. My father set up a farm shop to sell our meat directly to consumers. By the time I was sixteen, I was able to confidently cut and prepare pork, beef and lamb to the same standard as the other butchers. I didn’t realise at the time how imperative these skills would be in my career. As well as butchery, I also enjoyed baking pastries with my Mum and took inspiration from her delicious home cooking. Mum’s cooking was the biggest influence on me, although again this was something I did not realise it at the time - I just assumed that every mum could cook like mine. The way my parents had brought me up in relation to food would stay with me for the rest of my life.     

A Yorkshire Business Venture

I created Yorkshire Baker in 2008. Taking time to make gourmet pastry products using only the finest ingredients, my handcrafted sausage rolls, pies and pasties quickly became a big hit with delis and farm shops across North Yorkshire. Cranswick plc came along, fell in love with my products and we joined forces.   

Back to the Origins

After five enjoyable and hugely successful years, I wanted to return to my original business idea of supplying independent businesses. As a farmer’s daughter, my heart lay with the Farm Shops. A mutual friend introduced me to Cheryl Barrett, who joined me as Sales & Marketing Director and so, The Original Baker was born. Cheryl is also a passionate foodie with strong ties to agriculture and enjoys building and maintaining excellent customer relationships, while my passion lays in production. We complement each other and work well together. Our Original Baker products are made in the same way I have always made them, just on a larger scale. Each pie and pastry is handmade with time, passion and skill by our team of dedicated artisan bakers. Our people and their time is without doubt our key ingredient.

Cheryl & Gill