Last week, Roberts Bakery opened the doors to ‘The Exploratory’ for the very first time – welcoming inside a group of VIPs, budding bakers, wannabe bread makers and friends to join in the celebrations.
The Exploratory is at the heart of innovative thinking for the Northwich-based bakery brand.
It’s the place where Roberts’ bakers dream up, develop and then perfect the most delicious bakes before they hit the nation’s supermarket shelves.
As well as having a sneaky peek behind the scenes of the UK’s next generation bakery, 13 lucky guests (Roberts’ Baker’s Dozen) also had the chance to take part in a very special ‘Bake Off’ competition.
With an array of ingenious ingredients at hand, each contestant was tasked with crafting their own brilliantly bonkers bake.
Memorable entrants included Paul Bazley, commercial manager at Northwich Victoria FC, whose sweet and savoury Vics-inspired bake (made with cheese, tomato, onion, sultanas, chilli and that all important green pesto) most impressed the baking family.
Competition winners Ann-Marie Sweeney from Winsford and Gill Drinkwater from Sandbach were also commended for showcasing their tasty techniques and brilliant bakes.
Guests were also treated to a seasonal spread of previously unseen, untasted bakes – all of which started out as an idea sparked in The Exploratory, of course!
It was an afternoon tea menu to remember – all served up with the tastiest of twists.
Good Friday Mini Loaves were lovingly designed and baked especially for the occasion – combining savoury sour cream with capers, gherkins and a scrumptious scampi fry dusting.
Also crafted for the event were Easter Sunday Dinner Mini Loaves stuffed with rich lamb flavoured gravy and mint jelly.
As well as this, there was a selection of sweet treats including: meringue nests filled with boozy G&T cream and an Easter muffin with the creamiest chocolate egg centre.
“As a family, we’ve invested heavily in The Exploratory,” commented the company’s deputy chairman Mike Roberts.
“Its introduction underpins our commitment to new product development and innovation, which is essential if we are to maintain our position as the UK’s next generation bakery.
“It was wonderful to welcome our guests into such an inspirational environment.”
Stuart Spencer-Calnan, Roberts Bakery’s managing director, added: “We often compare The Exploratory to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory.
“It’s a place where creativity is currency, where mistakes are embraced and where the word ‘impossible’ is a no-go.
“Our many very sporting special guests truly embraced our philosophy to come up with their own most brilliant bakes and treats.
“We opened our doors to share how we work and the secrets behind our success.”