the wheaten Mill
We spoke to Victoria and Simon, who now own and run ‘The Wheaten Mill’, the pair produce a whole host of handmade cakes, cupcakes, tarts and all things sweet, and soon to be savoury too, along with their small team.
Let’s find out a bit more about their history, the future and the delicious items they offer.
The Wheaten Mill story for us started in August 2018 when we took over the running of the business. The Wheaten Mill was established in 2003 by Jo DiDuca at her home, she grew the business and moved into the Wheaten Mills first proper premises in 2008 where continued to work for the next ten years. We bought the business in 2018 with some of the original customers. Neither of us come from a baking background. Simon a mechanic by trade and me a nursery nurse by trade. We both enjoyed cooking and baking at home with our children (all 5 of them) and felt it was something we could do.
But, like everyone else, things changed for us when we then went into the first lockdown in March 2020. Simon and I decided to work solely in the kitchens. This for us is when we were able to really focus on the business and change things up a little bit.
We were able to tweak recipes, introduce new items and realise that the kitchens weren’t big enough and start the process of moving.
Due to Covid, this took much longer than planned and we finally moved into our fabulous new kitchens in January 2022. We have added many new lines, including tarts, cookies, scones and more brownies! And we have gained new customers along the way. We have lots planned for the future.
Why is Wheaten Mill a cool place to work?
Clearly, the people who work at the mill make it a cool place to work, we work hard but we have fun and have a laugh along the way – mostly at ourselves.
We are a very small team, there are only five of us, Simon and Victoria are the two main bakers and we are helped by Lauren in the kitchen one day a week and she also packs for us. Jo is responsible for getting the orders ready and Matt delivers them.
What’s next for Wheaten Mill?
More product lines! We are in the final stages of finishing off a gluten-free kitchen, which will be entirely separate from the main baking area. So we will have an entirely new gluten-free range.
We will also be introducing meat pies, using our smoked meat. We’ll also be looking at recruiting some more staff too as we expand.
What makes your products unique?
Everything we sell is handmade, from scratch, from the pastry in our tarts to the caramel in our caramel shortbread. Small batches of cakes made fresh using local produce where possible and local suppliers.
Best business moment?
We’ve had lots of fantastic moments since taking over but the best one so far has got to be the move! It was a long hard slog but it has definitely been the best thing we have done yet.
A valuable lesson you have learnt?
Turn the food mixer down to slow when adding more icing sugar! Otherwise, it can get messy.
But I would say the most valuable lesson has been to build good relationships with our customers – ask them what they want and need, and work closely with them.
Well, Simon can’t answer this question as he doesn’t eat sugar! He bakes cakes day in and day out and doesn’t touch them! He prefers savoury things. I however like the cherry scones.
How many products do you make?
9 types of tarts in 2 sizes. 5 different cookies. 6 flavours of round cake in 4 different sizes. 10 types of loaf cakes. 16 types of bar. Cupcakes in various flavours and all the seasonal items throughout the year!
Our brownies, we have been told they are some of the best in the area and have been asked to post them around the Country. Our old school cornflake tart is also a fan favourite.
One thing you couldn’t live without?
Simon couldn’t live without his fix of Starbucks almond milk lattes! And I couldn’t live without the Sea, nothing better than listening to the waves with sand under foot.
Simon’s favourite song is Disturbed – and their cover of “the sounds of silence”. This is also a favourite of Stanley our 5-year-old who likes to listen to it when he goes to bed. Me, I’m not so sure! I love music and have so many songs I like – but I suppose it might have to be “wind beneath my wings”.
And finally, tell us a joke…
99.9% of the jokes we share at work aren’t printable! Stanley our son had to tell a joke at school for comic relief so let’s go with that…
What do you call a dinosaur that doesn’t wash? A stink-a-saurous.
Every Wednesday we receive a delivery of Wheaten Mill products at SFH, all your favourites included.