Fresh bread; fresh leadership

The smell and taste of fresh bread are in much demand from bakers but doing this on a commercial scale brings its challenges and opportunities.  

Hobbs House Bakery is an artisan local bakery with big ambition, with multi-faceted areas of business including wholesale fresh and frozen deliveries direct to customers and via wholesalers, six retail bakery cafes, a cookery school and growing online business.

Formed in 1920, Hobbs House Bakery is a fifth-generation business based in Chipping Sodbury where they have been baking since 1980.

Hobbs House Bakery has 20 skilled bakers working 6 days a week, fuelled on coffee, so that in the morning they can provide the freshest handmade bread and patisserie. They continue to use the traditional overnight methods to produce their real bread, which they proudly state you can taste the difference.

Their bakery is also home to their own 61 year old sourdough that they use to make their award winning sourdoughs. Hobbs House Bakery are soil association accredited and make a fine range of organic breads too.

2017 is a Game Changer for George Herbert who takes over from his father, Trevor, as the new Managing Director. Already, George is planning to build on previous successes whilst embracing innovation.

“I have had positive feedback from my father and our external Non-Executive Director after successfully leading and agreeing the vision, values and strategy for 2017 and together we have overseen sales growth.

“However, we must do more. Each area of the business has to embrace change to ensure its success. We will focus on two aspects. Firstly, the ability to understand the customers’ needs and expectations and develop products and services to meet these. Secondly, build a strong and stable management team that can work together to efficiently and innovatively deliver our plan.

“As I transition into the role of MD, my learning on the LEAD programme has been invaluable. I know I need to lead the business with a clear and consistent management style. I have handed over my sales director responsibilities to one of my brothers. I aim to keep reflecting on how I am performing and learn to make improvements or gain knowledge to ensure this continually happens. I also need to build and empower my teams, so we can collaboratively and critically review our performance and direction and use this as the driver for change.

“However, I realise I get involved in detail when I shouldn’t so I need to give clear communication and direction.”

I commend George on his brutally honest assessment of his leadership, managing the transition and his willingness to work with and utilise his father’s extensive knowledge on the business and industry to help him improve his decision-making.

Hobbs House Bakery is clearly a successful organisation lasting almost 100 years. The next generation is in good hands which bodes well for bread making.

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