Our 13th Birthday

“Our 13th birthday celebrates a great effort. It reminds me of the very first thing we wrote down on a piece of paper when we were imagining how we would take a chef-focused craft bakery to a high street – ‘it must be a celebration of bread’. As we celebrate 13 years of baking, our promise remains to be authentic and thoughtful about all we do.  We will do the best we can, every day, and every day we will have some fun doing it. We are grateful to all our partners, employees and customers who have been on this journey with us.” – Tom Molnar, GAIL’s Co-Founder and CEO

To celebrate our 13th birthday, we put our Baker’s Dozen of questions to Tom. Read the full conversation here.

Baker’s Dozen with Tom

To coincide with our 13th birthday, we asked Tom, our CEO and co-founder, our Baker’s Dozen of questions to find out how he takes his coffee and where his love for bread began.

1. What time did you get up this morning?
3am to take care of my hungry jet-lagged 11 year old and then again at 0630h – normal time to let the dog out, wake the kids and make a coffee.

2. How do you take your coffee?
I like it black – double espressos for me.

3. What do you usually have for breakfast?
I love porridge and a digestive.

4. Why do you think good bread is so important?
It is versatile and healthy.

4. What’s the first food you remember loving as a child?
My great-grandmom’s bread – her name was actually Grandmom Bread.

5. Have you ever baked bread? How did that go?
Tried once and it was a disaster.  My pancakes are better, my scrambled eggs are superb.

6. What does the smell of freshly baked bread remind you of?
A simple table in a simple kitichen.

7. What do you spread on your toast?
I love a good rich butter, but recently I have fallen for whey.

8. What is the best part of your day?
The part after your first coffee.

9. What’s in your ultimate sandwich?
Tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella.

10. What GAIL’s product could you never live without?
The seeded crackers.

11. Bread is made with three primary ingredients. Four if you include time. What are the main ingredients in your life and work, concrete or abstract?
I need family, poetry, laughter and water.

12. What would you do for a living, if not this?
I wanted to be a fish farmer.  I still have time.

Our Cakes

To mark our Baker’s Dozen Birthday this summer, we’ll be baking two of our favourite cakes, our Flourless Chocolate Cake and our Baked Cheesecake, in miniature form. From 5th July our new mini cakes will replace slices of our Baked Cheesecake, Flourless Chocolate Cake and our Loaf Cake, as we strive to reduce waste in our bakeries.

If you’d like us to bake you a celebration cake or loaf cake for a special occasion, be sure to pre-order one with your local bakery or order online on our website. Our bakers need a little more time whip these up, so let us know before noon two days in advance. We’re also happy to inscribe our round cakes with personal messages.

Baker’s Dozen with Birute

We asked Birute, our Team Leader in Summertown, our Baker’s Dozen of Questions to find out about her two years with GAIL’s, baking bread and how she takes her coffee.

1. What time did you get up this morning?
I get up at 4:45, start the day with a mug of coffee and the TV news then get ready to go.

2. How do you take your coffee?
At home, first thing in the morning, I usually have a big mug of strong filter coffee without milk or sugar. Once I get to work, I love a flat white made with our GAIL’s House Blend.

3. What do you usually have for breakfast?
It varies – either toast with butter, pancakes, poached eggs, or granola with yoghurt.

4. How long have you been working for GAIL’s?
I’ve been working at GAIL’s for over two years. I started as a Customer Service Assistant in Summertown when the bakery first opened there and since then, I have moved up to Team Leader and now train new starters when they join the team. I love my job as I get to work with people, great quality coffee and food (especially the breads) and I enjoy providing excellent customer service to our customers.

5. What’s the first food you remember loving as a child?
My grandmother used to make crêpes with homemade cream and strawberries. It reminds me of times spent with her and sister in my grandmother’s house in the countryside with its huge garden, and how we used to sit in the kitchen near the fireplace hearing stories from her past.

6. Have you ever baked bread? How did it go?
Yes; my mum used to bake white bread and I used to help her when I was a child. Later in life, when I worked as a pastry chef, I used to bake brioche, baguettes and walnut bread – they turned out really well!

7. What does the smell of freshly baked bread remind you of?
My mum’s kitchen.

8. What do you spread on your toast?
Either butter, soft cheese or pâté.

9. What is the best part of your day?
The best part of my day is when I start work. I enjoy it because I have a lot of energy and it’s great to see to see my lovely coworkers and regular customers.

10. What’s in your ultimate sandwich?
My ultimate sandwich would be prawns, hard boiled eggs, iceberg lettuce and mayo on our Barnes Sandwich Loaf.

11. If we could give you a lifetime supply of anything from GAIL’s, what would that be?
The Honey & Almond Sourdough. It doesn’t matter whether it’s toasted or not, it always tastes amazing and I can’t get enough of it.

12. Our bread is made with three primary ingredients. Four if you include time. What are the main ingredients in your life and work, concrete or abstract?
Coffee, bread, smiles and positive vibes. But more seriously, I always try to treat people the way I would like to be treated, and be respectful of others. A sense of humour is also a very important and helps me even in the most difficult of situations.

13. What would you do for a living, if not this?
Either a psychologist or a pastry chef.

The Baker’s Dozen Birthday

We’re celebrating our Baker’s Dozen Birthday this summer, marking 13 years since we first fired up our ovens in Hampstead. We’ll be kicking off with a weekend of celebrations on 7th & 8th July in the bakery, so be sure to pop along and celebrate with us. We’re excited to give away 13 golden tickets for a year’s supply of bread. Winners will be randomly selected from our mailing list, from competition posts on social media and by entering on our website. Enter here. 

A birthday isn’t a birthday without cake, so to celebrate we’re baking two of our favourite cakes in miniature form with a limited edition birthday cake box.

In reflecting on the last 13 years we’ve also chosen our 13 favourite bakes, including our Cinnamon Bun, Brownie Finger and, of course, French Dark Sourdough. Order online.

“It must be a celebration of bread.” Our founder, Tom, talks about why our 13th birthday feels special.

New Mini Cakes

To celebrate our birthday, we’re baking two of our favourite cakes, the Flourless Chocolate Cake, and the Baked Cheesecake, in miniature form. Find them in your local bakery, with our limited edition cake box, from 5th July. Mini cakes and large celebration cakes are available for pre-order online or you can pop into your local GAIL’s. We are happy to inscribe cakes with personal, special messages.

 

Mini Flourless Chocolate Cake

Our Flourless Chocolate Cake is made with dark chocolate, butter, eggs, sugar and pure cocoa powder – that’s it. Essentially, it’s a baked chocolate mousse, which means we try to capture as much air in the cake mixture as possible, before gently pouring the mousse into moulds and baking on a very low heat until the cake is just set. The result is a rich but not overly sweet cake with deep cocoa notes and a feather-light texture.

 

Mini Baked Cheesecake

We’ve slightly changed our cheesecake recipe, dropping the white chocolate and reducing the sugar content so it’s now slightly sharp, tangy and fresh tasting. We pour the cream cheese custard mixture, made with vanilla, eggs and sugar, over the buttery crumble base, then bake the cheesecake for a little less time than before for a smooth and creamy texture.

 

And we’re already baking three new mini cakes for summer; a vegan Chocolate & Tahini Bite with sesame seeds and dark chocolate chunks, our sticky and fragrant Passionfruit & Coconut Cake, and our Berry & Polenta Cake which we make with polenta and ground almonds. Order online now. 

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