Episode 24: Cocoa Innovation with Joanna Brennan Co-Founder of Pump Street Bakery and Pump Street Chocolate
Joanna Brennan is the featured guest of the Well Tempered mini-series focusing on 'Cocoa Innovation.' She is Co-Founder of Pump Street Bakery and Pump Street Chocolate in Orford, Suffolk, England. In my humble opinion, there is hardly a more perfect pairing than bread and chocolate, deeply comforting and nostalgic. Alongside her father Chris Brennan, Joanna and staff have been leading the craft chocolate and artisan bread category since 2010. With their steadfast attention to detail, bread made by hand, and transparent relationships w/ owner-operated estates, farms and co-operatives for their, it made perfect sense for them to intersect both passions and crafts. Listen in as we talk about the charm of the English countryside, local pastries, running an internationally known family business, and fine inimitable 2 or 3 ingredient chocolate as a main ingredient for chefs.
Themes discussed in this episode:
- Launching a slow food business as the bread renaissance was picking up in the UK
- Building the brand and business of a destination artisan bread bakery
- The parallels between bread and chocolate; & how knowing one inside-out helped asking the right questions for sourcing, fermentation, building farmer relationships, etc.
- Single origin vs blends in bread and chocolate - consistency and highlighting farmer partners/terroir
- Crop/harvest year on packaging; what consumers are starting to notice and request
- International distribution, an organic part of Pump Street's growth
- Introducing ice cream into cafe menu. (They serve Eccles & Armagnac, sour dough bread crumb, nutmeg - using nutmeg from Crayfish Bay, single origin Madagascar chocolate, & sorbet.)
- Logical advancement in their business model; if using chocolate in bread, why not adding bread to chocolate?
- An exciting conversation to have...craft chocolate for chefs and pastry professionals (Pump Street serves 15 London restaurants as of Summer 2018) & how to speak to chefs in that :their: craft chocolate differs in temperature when tempering in comparison to the couverture that the industry is used to
Sound Bites by Joanna:
- In regard to holiday-taking, do it! Set aside time to take a vacation/rest and most importantly, set an auto-response email letting others know you're OOO so that reply expectations are set beforehand
- International distribution. Intentionally thinking about the long-game and if your business can afford to offer a distributor price, and still succeed as a business
- On packaging development: "I was very conscious that it was going to have to speak for itself on the shelf when I wasn't there standing behind the counter.....(but) the judgment of the chocolate should be in the eating." Pump Street opted for enchanting potential customers with intrigue and quality without being too loud (in packaging colors/design).
Eccles cakes, a historically Lancashire currant filled puff pastry
Local pastry chef & author Henrietta Inman works with Pump Street Chocolate for her baking recipes
BreadCrumbs; a podcast I am absolutely enthralled with as of late, by the Modernist Bread team. Eight part series interviewing artisans, millers, scientists, food historians, and more important players in the world of bread
Directly traded cacao (talked about in the episode):
Desmond Jadusingh cocoa farmer & owner of Bachelor's Hall Estate Jamaica (single farm)
Kim and Lylette Russell of Crayfish Bay, Grenada
Bertil Åkesson, owner of the well known cocoa and pepper estate in Madagascar
Pump Street links:
Facebook Pump Street Bakery
Instagram @PumpStBakery & @PumpStChocolate
(my pick) 60% Ecuador Dark Milk 'Rye Crumb, Milk & Sea Salt'
*Look out for rare-batch subscription services and further international shipping in the near future!*
Visit their cafe & bakery:
1 Pump Street Orford, Suffolk, IP12 2LZ
Submit a nomination for future podcasts: https://goo.gl/forms/vzhbiUoxTCu3G55H2