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Feeling at a crossroads?

Many of you may relate to feeling at a crossroads in your life, where you have two options to take.


The questions is, do you –


  1. Stay doing what you do, the thing you’re known for, that craft. You’re good at it, you understand the industry and your day-to-day stuff – but is it enough for you?


Or is there an alternative based from a deep-rooted passion, love and respect for all those that grow, produce, cook and bake great food? My ideal day has become a day at Altrincham Market, serving like-minded foodies who share a similar belief. However the very next day I may be a styling concept alongside the most fabulous and inspirational chefs and food producers.  I’m a “Photographic Storyteller” who was carving out a world built around telling tales photographically on behalf of others that served and grew food. And then, seeking a varied life, I gave myself the permission to learn how to bake bread! (For practical reasons too,) Aidan, my husband, needed a part-time artisan baker for a new micro-bakery and he didn’t have a budget for a wage! You may relate to that too. If you’re in business you have to have a practical insight for the daily bottom line, it makes you step up to the plate! We are in this game together, through thick and thin type of stuff. I was on the mantra of “just get on with it!” If others can learn, why can’t I? A gal with a deep-rooted interest and added investment – her beloved husband.


Giving myself the permission and encouragement to discover something new is rather frightening, yet liberating and exciting. There’s now a whole new creative world to sculpt – still as creative as the previous life, still working with the like-minded folk that get me and I get them too. Diving into this headfirst can’t be worse than a bungee jump, can it?


If you have ever done the radical leap from one world to another – naturally I would naturally treasure your advice!


The varied life is rather stretching; I’m not boxing myself in. Why live in a box? It’s a perception perhaps crafted by previous beliefs when the alternative for me is living on a food horizon instead. The world is a very different place from the time when you had a job for life, carpets with a life-time guarantee. Now folks, none of us want to be looking at the same carpets for life, we need change. Why not think this way in terms of careers too?


I’m going to share my story, the story of the #bakerswife, you may be as curious as I, as to whether you can “create a micro-baker in 4 weeks”? All I bring to the task is courage, enthusiasm, passion and a loose understanding (the past week has taught me it’s a very “loose” understanding and boy, do I have a mountain to climb!) I do have the advantage of a rather caring and nurturing training team, who I sense are still in shock of this most radical suggestion by Aidan. If you know Aidan, you will already know he believes in the graft, the people and giving them a chance. He also believes in the product he is providing me to bake!


Confession – the product is all recipes created by Aidan previously, what arrives to me is the magic! The bread has already been mixed and molded and all they ask of me is to respect the approach to baking! Never neglect their labour and don’t burn myself in the process. This is currently filling me with anticipation.


The journey – life is about learning from others and their courage. I have watched others rebuild their lives, I watch Sport Relief and see people take on the most incredible mind and body breaking tasks. Currently being alongside Aidan in training is too body breaking. Following the first bake, I could hardly walk or lift a pencil! Yet I am determined, not just for myself, but for others that may take the same path. I want to learn with the motive of teaching others, I want to prove something to myself with the hope of inspiring the inner spirit. Taking this option was also because I was burnt out, done in, at the end of my tether – call it what you will, I needed a change. I can remember saying to my sister; “I now know the real meaning of broken.” Alty, the bakery, chefs, millers (especially Gilchesters) have all played a role in propping me back together and indeed giving me the nudge. I am on a journey, as flaky as that might sound, I really am. I have no expectation of the ending, just the experience I have along the way.


Join me, learn from me and with hope I would like to inspire you too – to always give yourself the permission to follow your heart.


Words by – Catherine Connor

Photography by Ailish Monks Styled by Catherine Connor for Artisans & Co.


  1. Aidan

    It has been the greatest joy to have Catherine, my beloved wife,join me in the business and I am very much looking forward to what the bakery and the grain we work with will bring to our future. The new friends we will make and the people who join us creating very special breads for those who love what we do.

  2. Angus Matheson

    A very interesting article, Catherine!

    As you will remember, I made the jump from running companies to being a professional photographer just a few years ago.

    I wish I had done it sooner. No two days are the same and I love to see the pleasure that my work gives people. I guess it’s the same with any creative process – you do your best work when your motivation is to make people happy.


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