Whitley Bay baker rises to the challenge

Whitley Bay baker Nigel Castle. Picture by John Millard www.johnmillardphotography.com
Whitley Bay baker Nigel Castle. Picture by John Millard www.johnmillardphotography.com

An amateur baker from Whitley Bay is turning his hobby into a thriving business with his gluten-free bakery.

Nigel Castle is meeting the growing demands for fresh, gluten free bakery products with the launch of The Tenacious B – an artisan bakery, without a grain of wheat or an ounce of gluten in sight.

Nigel, whose passion for baking took him to the last pre-televised round of the hugely popular TV programme The Great British Bake Off, recognised a huge gap in the market for freshly-produced, gluten free bakery products and after months of perfecting recipes is now selling an array of sweet and savoury pastries, scones, pies, savouries and Christmas cakes and mince pies from his weekly stall at Tynemouth Market.

The sales professional is already looking at ways to grow his market and is in discussions with a number of cafes and delis looking to expand their gluten free product offering with authentic bakery products.

Nigel said: “I’ve been baking for years and decided it was the time to try to turn my hobby into a business. I knew that there was growing demand for gluten-free products so wanted to include one or two into my range.

“After perfecting a few recipes, I was amazed at just how good some of them tasted; absolutely no compromise on taste so I embarked on a journey to see if I could create an entire gluten-free range.”

“I researched what is currently available in the supermarkets and chatted to lots of people who can’t tolerate gluten in their diet to find out what products they missed and I made it my mission to create a wide range of bakery products which would match the taste and quality of a typical artisan bakery and would appeal to people with or without dietary requirements.”

Nigel has even managed to master flaky pastry to create favourites such as sausage and cheese rolls.

He said: “It really is early days and I’m still juggling the bakery with my sales career but if the first few weeks are anything to go by, there is certainly huge demand.”

Within weeks of launch The Tenacious B is already attracting regular customers to its weekly stall; many who have had to go without such bakery goods for a number of years, but others, with no special dietary requirements, simply can’t resist the range.

Until then, The Tenacious B can be found every Sunday at Tynemouth Market – a proven testing ground for a number of the region’s successful food businesses and its products are also available to order online for home delivery within a five mile radius of the Whitley Bay-based bakery.