THE BAKER FAMILY
Rhyg a Rhosod (Rye and Roses) is a micro-homestead and family bakery in Penegoes near Machynlleth, based at the home of Jane, Tom, and Reuben Baker. We keep our own chickens, ferment and preserve, make and grow food from scratch (butter, yoghurt, cheese, fermented drinks, peanut butter, granola, herbs etc) - and of course bake delicious sourdough bread for sale.
We are learning to grow heritage varieties of grain and ingredients on a small scale for our business in mid-Wales. In the future we hope to build a wood-fired oven, start Clwb Bara - a community bread club - and run pop-up events and courses.
Rhyg a Rhosod (Rye and Roses) brings together Jane and Tom’s collective skills and passions. Formerly a Nutritionist, Tom loves baking sourdough bread, food foraging, fermenting and cooking. Jane has a keen interest in growing food, and more than 15 years working in communications in the charity sector for environmental, education, food growing and arts organisations.
Rhyg a Rhosod (Rye and Roses) is based in Penegoes near Machynlleth. It is an area of mid Wales where working grain mills once stood, timber was bountiful, and ‘Rye’ may have once grown. The name Rye and Roses not only refers to local farming history but also echoes the phrase ‘Bread and Roses’ coined by Rose Schneiderman in America in 1912. The right to more in life: dignity, respect and the opportunity to flourish (roses), as well as the basic things in life (bread).
In 2009 we began a community supported bakery from our then home in south Birmingham. Tom baked bread for our neighbours once a week using a wood-fired oven in the garden and taught forgotten food skills from our tiny kitchen. In 2012, as demand outgrew our house we opened Loaf Community Bakery and Cookery School on Stirchley high street in Birmingham, with help from our local community, bread-bonds and dedicated supporters. Today Loaf is a thriving workers co-operative with an international reputation.
Jane’s interest in the environment and sustainable horticulture began to grow, inspired by family, community, and the organisations she was working for (Oxfam, Northfield Ecocentre, Garden organic).
In April 2017 when Reuben was aged one we began a family sabbatical to gather ideas for a new business and to find a new home. We spent seven months visiting permaculture, food and food growing organisations and eco-villages in Europe, Wales, England, and Ireland.
In April 2018 we found our new home and settled in Machynlleth, a place full of like-minded people, and farming knowledge where we can share our collective ideas and skills in a vibrant, creative community.
A bit of family history
In Canada in 1870 Tom’s Great, Great, Great Grandfather, Joseph Baker patented the hand flour scoop and sifter originally created for his wife. This was the beginning of what became Baker Perkins, an international engineering company producing baking ovens, mixers, and other machinery for the baking industry.