The Lilac Bakery – Exeter

The Lilac Bakery - Exeter

The Lilac Bakery opened its doors on Cowick Street, St Thomas just over a year ago after taking on an empty betting shop. What was once William Hill is now a bustling hub of the local community providing amazing handmade pastries, cakes and savouries as well as expertly made coffee.

The project was a labour of love for owners Jenn Wickings and Eddie Goodwin. They incorporated local tradespeople like Co Create Exeter and Grounded Home as well as their own hard graft to make the bakery what it is today. The beautiful crockery that houses your coffee and transports your pastries handmade especially for them by Sarah Gee in Bridport.

Jenn and Eddie started their hospitality careers over a decade ago. Eddie predominantly on the coffee side and Jenn in making and creating delicious food. Jenn tells me that neither of them are trained bakers and are completely self-taught but manage to whip up some of the best pastries I have ever tasted.

Before they opened their doors to the public they spent months researching producers and testing different ingredients to find what tasted and worked the best for them. It was important that the bakery had suppliers that no one else was using to keep things interesting for their customers as well as themselves. They use Taw River Dairy milk who are based locally as well as Pump Street Chocolate, Edinburgh Butter Company and Wildfarmed Flour who use a regenerative approach to farming using no pesticides or fungicides. They work closely with Obadiah who supply their house coffee and Eddie is let loose ordering when it comes to the guest roasts on offer.

Jenn says “the special thing about Lilac is that Eddie and I make absolutely everything we sell ourselves, just the two of us, inside the small bakery space. We wanted to create a place where people could come, drink great coffee and eat homemade food made with the best possible ingredients”.

She continues “We lived in London for a while and spent our weekends visiting coffee shops drinking coffee and eating pastries. When we moved back we decided we wanted to open somewhere of our own. We wanted Lilac to be somewhere we would want to go if we were customers. We are so happy we have such loyal customers that come religiously every weekend & love it. That’s exactly what we wanted to achieve”.

Now you have heard about Lilac you have to head down to sample their “staple” bakes like croissants, cruffins and cinnamon buns. At the weekend they use their collective creative flair to make exciting and somewhat different flavour combinations like their cheese and kimchi croissant. They make soup at lunchtimes and have focaccia sandwiches and toasties too. There is always a large array of vegan and gluten-free free alternatives to cater for all tastes.

They are currently open Tuesday – Sunday but come the new year will be open Wednesday -Sunday. In the build-up to Christmas, they are operating their normal opening hours and for all of those looking for a twixtmas hideaway, they will be open between Christmas and New Year.

Disclaimer: I was not paid to write this post. All views and opinions are my own as always.

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