A CRAFT bakery, established more than 150 years ago in Cornwall, opened its newest store in Southend, last week.

The firm is the oldest Cornish pasty maker in the world and story of Warrens Bakery began in 1860, when Miss Harvey, the daughter of a St.Just Baker, met Mr Warren, a farmer’s son. While the local Warrens farm provided the ingredients fresh from the fields, the Harveys made the pastry and baked the pasties.

Now it boasts three production sites and more than 50 stores throughout Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Bristol, Birmingham, Hampshire and most recently, Southend.

Jason Jobling is master baker for the bakery – and has been for 26 years. What exactly is craft bakery I ask?

“Baking with your hands,” he explains. “Yes, we use machines to support our product range. However, we still use craft skills in every product we make.”

And why has it become more popular?

“The rise in popularity is almost certainly linked to the fact baking has had more air time on television eg. British Bake Off, Paul Hollywood, and home baking being constantly promoted,” he says.

What’s his favourite thing to bake?

“I love making hot cross buns, it combines bread fermentation skills with confectionery skills,” he smiles. “The smell of the final spiced product and the final appearance continues to bring me delight even after 26 years of working for Warrens Bakery.”

But what’s the most popular thing that Warrens Bakery does?

“It’s still our signature Cornish Pasty,” he confirms. “We are really proud to be recognised at the world’s oldest Cornish pasty maker and offer a broad selection of award-winning sweet and savoury bakes, but as a timeless staple, our pasties are iconic in their status and have become a national foodie treasure.”

Has this always been the case or does it change from year to year, or season to season?

“The Cornish Pasty has always been one of our customers favourite products, however the season and weather does affect the product mix,” he explains. “For example, this November we released a winter warming range of Roast pasties, our take on the traditional Sunday roast. As the Sunday roast is also such an integral and well-loved dish, which is a huge part of Great Britain’s national identity, we felt it was high time it was given a Warrens Bakery twist.”

But what’s his top baking tip?

“Never stop trying and keep going. Be organised and work neatly.”

And how did he get into baking?

“My father was a baker, so I been born and bred with baking all around me. I am sure the passion for baking is in my blood.”

How long has he been with Warrens Bakery?

“When I was twelve, I started by sugaring American ring doughnuts in my holidays and after school,” he reveals. “However, I was given a bakery, cake decorating and patisserie apprenticeship when leaving school.”

What’s the biggest challenge facing bakers today?

“As a bakery business it is the increase of raw material prices”

How have Warrens Bakery recipes changed over time?

“Development of trends for example vegetable based fats, then non-hydrogenated fats, salt levels, sugar levels, allergen controls and dietary requirements Vegetarian, Vegan and Gluten Free. All have had an impact.”

And how has the rise of veganism affected what he bakes and produces?

“Our bakers have been hard at work adapting and redesigning our 150-year-old recipe to create a truly authentic vegan experience and this year we launched our all-new vegan pasty range.WS

“Of course, technically this isn’t a Cornish Pasty, as it doesn’t contain beef as per the Cornish Pasty Association definition, but as far as a Vegan Cornish Pasty goes, this is the closest you’ll get.

“For the Original Vegan Pasty, we reworked our traditional glaze and pastry and came up with a wholemeal pastry and vegan friendly glaze – topped with a distinctive “V” pastry marker so there’s no mistaking your vegan lunch.

“Our Vegan Green Thai & Fiery Mexican Pasties launched in the spring and have been a real hit ever since. Next up will be the Vegan Winter Root Veg Pasty. We have also introduced the Vegan Apple & Raspberry Tray Bake for those with a sweeter tooth.”

Warrens Bakery has been going for 150 years, what does he put the success down to?

“Our passion for baking and our customers; using quality ingredients; innovation; quality products and customer service. Also, the fact that we are not frightened to embrace change.”

Warrens Bakery opened at 115 High Street, Southend, on Friday, November 24. To celebrate, the first twenty people to post a picture on social media of their pasty on the Southend Pier with #pastyonthepier will receive a free lunch.


* In the last twelve months its bakers have used 878 ton of flour

* They still hand-crimp all signature pasties in St Just, Cornwall’s oldest bakery, and hand-crimp three pasties every minute

* 3,500 loaves of artisan bread are made everyday

* 250kg of Rodda’s Clotted Cream is used in Warrens Bakery scones and shortbreads every week