Jude Anderson-Clutz - The Welsh Baker
Tell us about yourself
My family emigrated to Canada the year that I was born and being Welsh Canadian has always been a big part of my identity. I remember warm Welsh Cakes were always a special treat. I went on to train and work as an American Sign Language Interpreter for over 20 years and then spent some time in social service coordination. It is meaningful work and I am honoured to have served but my passion, my dream has always been to create, to bake and to bring joy. And so I left my full time career with benefits and a pension and decided to live my dream of being a baker.
Tell us about your business
I established The Welsh Baker in 2018 and sold at one small but busy farmer's market while I held down my full time job. One year later I was renting a commercial kitchen space full time, baking for 4 markets and I even appeared on a television baking show! The Welsh Baker is a small batch artisanal baking company that celebrates timeless recipes with a modern flare or two. I started only making Welsh Cakes but now I offer a wide variety of baked good, catering menus and cooking classes.
Has your business been impacted by COVID-19?
My business has been impacted. One of the markets that I previously sold at decided not to open this year. This market was my busiest venue. Fortunately, the community rallied together and found a new venue. I have also had to update my website to include e-commerce and look at ways to collaborate with other businesses to keep interest and innovation flowing.
What led you to start this business?
Trying out a new recipe is exciting but making something that you have made hundreds of times-that recipe you know by heart-is as close to meditation as I am likely to achieve and seeing people you love enjoying what you have made?
Leaving the security of what you know to begin something new can be scary. One day while packing up to move house, I came across an old journal. In it was an entry about how I dreamed of owning my own food business. I knew then that I didn't want to be 5, 10, 15 years from that moment and regret that I never took the chance.
What were some of the challenges you faced getting started and how did you overcome them?
One of the biggest challenges was finding the right people to go to for advice. The Small Business Centre was very helpful in this regard. I was able to find folks who could reliably be asked for advice on insurance, writing contracts, hiring employees, bookkeeping etc. There are a lot of great people out there who are willing to help out a small business but I had some interactions with people who really knocked the wind from my sails at times. Thankfully, the great people helped me get back on course.
As a busy entrepreneur, what do you like to do when you take a break?
I power down. Take a break from social media and just enjoy spending time with my husband. We both love great food and drink so finding and trying out the new places and frequenting our old faves always helps me to unwind
What's in the future for your business?
I want to have my own brick and mortar space that is close to home so that the long hours I need to put in at the kitchen don't completely overtake my family life. I can't wait to have people come to see my little space in the world and hopefully give them a smile and something good to eat.