Couple relocate from London to Keila to run thriving micro-bakery

Julia Jones of Mikropagar ja Pitsa, talking to 'Maahommik'.
Julia Jones of Mikropagar ja Pitsa, talking to 'Maahommik'. Source: ERR

ETV show "Maahommik" recently visited a couple who had relocated from London to the somewhat more sedate environs of Keila, and now run their own sourdough micro-bakery in that town.

Julia Jones told "Maahommik" that she was born in Estonia, but had been living long-term in England.

"We moved to Estonia because of my mother, who didn't want to leave her tomatoes and cucumbers behind and wasn't willing to relocate to London, with us," Julia said.

Julia and her husband Ashley had been running their own eatery in London for half-a-dozen years before the Covid pandemic struck; during the pandemic, they converted the business to a bakery-shop, Julia added.

Now in Estonia, the artisan bakery, called Kraft Mikropagar ja Pitsa, in Keila, around 25km Southwest of Tallinn, has been open for a year and two months, and continues to grow.

Ashley Jones meanwhile told "Maahommik" that the bakery uses only locally sourced input materials.

"It's very important for me to keep the heritage of a natural product like sourdough, natural leavens, and to use local products to do that – to reduce the carbon footprint," Ashley said, adding supporting the local economy is vital too.

The couple's sourdough is truly hand-made. "I see a lot of people using gloves, but this is handmade bread, you should be using your hands," Ashley added.

Back in London, Ashley had worked for around 25 years in that field, alongside some big names.

"I've worked with lots and lots of very influential people in a very stressful city, so I've done some work with Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsay, and then the most important thing was running our own business of course, but I think Estonia after all of that stress and all of that speed, that pace of life, and being in Keila, and really slowing down, it's the way I felt my next move should be," he went on.

This still involves an early start, he added.

"You have to get up and feed the 'baby' at 4.00 a.m.," ie. to start the process of making the day's output, before grabbing a couple more hours' sleep and then returning to work.

Julia noted: "It's also very important what mood a baker is in, when they're making their bread."

"We're married, so everything has to be fine at home for the bread to turn out well. If there's a bad mood around, then the bread will not rise and will not taste good. Bread is a good mood foodstuff," she revealed.

The entire "Maahommik" slot is below.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Annika Remmel

Source: 'Maahommik,' interviewer Kerli Dello.

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