My family lives on a smallholding near Brecon in Wales, where we care for a number of rescued and disabled animals (including a flock of ex-battery chickens who now enjoy a truly free-range lifestyle). A friend’s ewe gave birth to a little black lamb and I called him Bert. Bert didn’t grow properly and appeared to be away with the fairies so he was gifted to us where he will never be harmed.
My family and I are all vegetarian. I’ve been vegetarian – and mostly vegan – since I was at junior school, ie almost my whole life. I have a very sweet tooth and have often been disappointed by the variety and quality of baked goods available to those who don’t eat eggs and/or dairy products, ie vegetarians, vegans and those with an intolerance or allergy to these ingredients. I’ve baked vegan cakes, muffins and cookies for years and they’ve always gone down a treat with friends and colleagues. Everyone is surprised when I say my goodies have no eggs or dairy products and say they actually taste better than the “real thing”. This got me thinking about whether I could take my baking further and persuade others just how fantastic cruelty-free goodies can be!
In 2012 I took voluntary redundancy, having decided it was time for a change of life. I sold my house, moved to a semi-rural location in South Wales and started to think about how to combine my passion for baking with my veggie beliefs. I decided to set up an online bakery and little Bert was the inspiration behind the name of Black Sheep Bakery.