Hello, I’m Henrietta, you can call me Hen if you like! Hetty, Henny… I don’t really mind! I grew up in Great Glemham, Suffolk, and I’m very grateful to have had access to real food and how to cook it from a young age. Since I can remember, food has always made me smile. Apparently my friend, Joe, and I were always the last two children at the table at birthday parties, still sat with our plates piled high with sandwiches and cake, our faces covered in crumbs and melted chocolate! I read French and Italian at Edinburgh University, a total immersion in France and Italy’s cultures through their language, history, literature, poetry, film, music and food! Then I went to London to study patisserie and have worked in kitchens ever since.
With all my being, I love cooking for people and the total and utter joy that food, that has been grown and cooked with love, can bring. Love really is the most important ingredient, everyone can feel it when they eat your food. After a long period of an eating disorder, that loving food and the connection that it has brought me to the land, to myself and many many beautiful souls, has truly healed me. As eating disorders rose during the pandemic, and as the pressure to look, indeed be, a certain way is still endemic in our society, I really hope that a universal re-engagement with our living world that we are part of, and more localised, small food communities, can help to stop this horrible illness, and the widespread homogeneity that is becoming ‘the norm’, on our land, in our seeds and in our people. I love this photo of quince from harvest 2020 and see the quince’s diverse beauty as a metaphor for every single beautiful body shape, colour, gender, character and unique being.
I am the founder of the bakery and bake, cook, teach, organise classes and events and coordinate the fruit harvesting on the farm. I love it and I am grateful every day to be here doing what I love.
But, in this beautiful, interconnected world we live in, nothing is ever done alone. I am very lucky to have lots of help in my work. Amanda and David, who own Wakelyns, are constant, unwavering supports. My parents, Deborah and David, are our main bread delivery drivers – YES WOW THEY ARE AMAZING – and also help at events and my mother helps in the bakery with me once a week; Monique is another delivery driver and helps once a week in the bakery also. To help with the cooking, a wonderful and incredibly talented local cook, Robbie, comes to help when we need him, with jamming, batch-cooking for accommodation food, events… Maisie, who helped me greatly at the start of the bakery and to get it where it is today, comes back when she can as well, phew! Oh and then there’s Cass, Amanda’s mother, who’s our chief washer upper at open days, and Ron, Amanda’s father, who helps us too; and so so many more, from our UK Grain Lab community which we are so grateful to be a part of.
Then there’s the rain, sun, wind, seeds, wheat, fruit, vegetables, our producers, the birds, the bees, Hodmedod’s…
Thank you all for being part of who we are.
Community and unity are at the core of our work. With this always in our consciousness, our work is built on a strong and stable foundation of connections that allow it to go beyond ourselves, transcend the ego, embrace the eco, and simply open up to all Beings in love and kindness.