Former consultant turns to baking following the recession
A former consultant swapped boardrooms for baking following the financial crash and her business, like her bread, is on the rise.
Jane Mason created Virtuous Bread, which helps people to learn everything about bringing good bread into the community, in 2010 and she has never looked back.
When the financial crash happened in 2008, Jane was working as independent strategy consultant specialising in financial services with companies such as HSBC, Citi and Credit Suisse.
Jane said: "Senior executive reaction to the 2008/09 recession was to 'rein in' and 'keep your head down' just at a time when organisations needed creativity, commitment, and a sense of community.
"I decided to take a break and explore options outside of consulting and financial services.
"I have been baking my whole life and it's something that I do when I have down time, including not being able to sleep."
But when Jane's lack of sleep meant she made more bread than she could eat, she decided to donate it to friends and neighbours.
"I was amazed at the positive response I received from people and I thought that this would be something others could benefit from," she said.
"That, coupled with the general lack of availability of good bread made me put two and two together: People can feel good about themselves, build relationships, and provide a great product. Good all round."
The business has grown hugely since then, as Jane travels the world from her new base in Mexico and expands her creativity and recipe collection.
She is not stopping there and is looking to expand further.
She said: "I would like to see more Bread Angels in other parts of the UK making good bread available in their communities and developing businesses teaching others.
"International expansion is also on the radar. I spend a lot of time in Mexico City now because of my husband's job and that is a whole new country to explore and makes the USA and Canada easier too.
"At this stage, that kind of expansion is opportunistic as opposed to strategic. The focus on expansion out of London is definitely strategic."
Go to Virtuousbread.com for more information.