Matlock dad's lockdown hobby becomes thriving sourdough bread business

A Matlock dad who started baking sourdough bread in lockdown has just quit his food industry job as orders for his new bakery delivery business are rising so fast.

By Ed Dingwall
Thursday, 31st March 2022, 8:39 am

Dave Sargent, 38, is quickly becoming better known as ‘Sourdough Dave, the Artisan Bread Man’, delivering up to 200 loaves a week to customers across the county.

An ex-chef who once worked with Raymond Blanc and Marco Pierre White, Dave decided to take the plunge and focus full-time on the business last month, giving up a job in product development for major food brands.

He said: “In lockdown it was really difficult to get yeast when so many people had started making their own bread, so I made a jar of sourdough starter and started a project with the kids.

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Dave Sargent, aka 'Sourdough Dave'.

“I made loaves for family and friends and it’s developed from there. I’ve worked with and eaten bread made by some of the best master bakers so knew I could be confident in my product.”

Dave added: “I started thinking about what I loved doing – spending time with my family and making bread every day. After some research, I realised there was a gap in the local market for a good sourdough.

“It was time to get back to my roots providing great food for people I can actually meet. The smiles I see on people’s faces are really important.”

In his spare time, Dave manages Darley Dale Juniors’ under-11s football team, and the business takes a whole squad too. Wife Sarah, 41, is in charge of marketing, promotion and running the delivery service, while they juggle children Hugh, ten, Madeleine, seven, and Ellie, three.

Sarah said: “It’s great for me that we can work together and Dave is around to do some of the school runs and enjoy family life and they get to see more of him too. They are really interested in what he’s doing and feel part of it. It’s a real team effort.”

A week after launching, the service outgrew the family kitchen, and Dave invested in a commercial mixer and oven, which has since been named Captain Crust.

Dave said: “I went from selling 25 loaves in the first week, 45 the next and 170 in week three just thanks to social media and our growing customer base spreading the word and it became clear we could make this work.”

To browse the range and order, go to facebook.com/sourdoughdave.co.uk.