Keeping it in the family - bakery returns 100 years after first appearing in Enfield

Enfield Independent: Baker James Freeman with Enfield Town centre manager Mark Ruddling Baker James Freeman with Enfield Town centre manager Mark Ruddling

A traditional family bakery that first opened more than 100 years ago is being welcomed back to Enfield Town.

Freeman’s bakery was set up by Charles Freeman in 1906 at a site now occupied by Pearson’s in Enfield Town.

After moving to Barnet and seeing the Enfield shop close in the 1980s, Charles’s grandson, James, has made it his mission to return “home.”

Having appeared on Britain’s Best Bakery earlier this year for its bloomer loaf, the business has now returned to the Enfield Town market and James is delighted to be back.

He said: “This is where we belong and where we started trading, I grew up in Enfield and it is like we are returning home.

“The market has changed, I think it might not be as busy as it used to be but we have seen our stall become busier over the weeks we have been here.”

The bakery has two stores in Barnet and has a market stall in the area but is now finding success back in Enfield.

Talking about what makes the shop stand out, he said: “The quality of what we do and the fact we still use traditional methods makes our bakery appealing.

“There has been a surge back towards traditional stores and away from supermarkets. We always bake on the bottom of the oven and not using trays and we use the highest quality jam. We could use cheaper but everything we do we want to use the best ingredients.”

Reminiscing about his grandfather’s legacy, Mr Freeman revealed that baking goes back five generations in his family to his great-great grandfather Robert.

He said: “This is has been a family business for a long time, my great-great grandfather Robert, came from Brackley, hitched a lift on a hay wagon, got off at Highgate, which was outside London and then got a job in a bakery.

“From there he started on his own and then my grandfather started his own business in Enfield.”

At 55, James believes there are still plenty of years left, although he does not currently have a sixth-generation successor lined up.

He said: “Nobody just yet, we will have to see how it goes. We work six days a week and are very passionate about what we do, I have plenty more years left in me.”

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