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Rough Hand Made

Bakery brings unique and unforgettable pastries and pittas to the Dock

Rough Hand Made bakes a world of flavours

Rough Hand Made is a family business steeped in the experiences of all of its members. Sharon and Carlos and three of their children work together in the bright and airy bakery, and behind the scenes. Moving to the Dock from its former site on Penny Lane, ‘it really feels like we’re moving from one landmark to another,’ says son Evy. ‘It’s the right place at the right time for us.

‘We’re still going to bake everything on our premises,’ he says. ‘Nothing’s bought in from outside. We’ll still work on the basis of selling everything the same day. And anything that’s left over we’ll donate to charity, just as we’ve always done.’

Rough Hand Made on the Dock
Rough Hand Made on the Dock

Take a break...

As we chat, Carlos is busy building the bakery’s new counter. It isn’t a coffee shop, they’re keen to stress. ‘It will just have a few benches inside for people to sit and have lunch and coffee; take a break from work – it’s a different atmosphere. We’ll bake fresh every morning, make sandwiches with our breads and do a good basic coffee and a soft drink’ says Sharon.

‘It’s a bakery, but it’s really an experience,’ she smiles. ‘Our customers don’t just come in to buy a loaf of bread. It’s somewhere where all of your senses wake up. We all spend too long sitting in front of screens these days - Rough Hand Made is somewhere where your senses come alive.’ Baker Carlos hails from Buenos Aires, and the bakery hums to the sounds of South American music. ‘You can smell the smells coming out of the ovens, and hear the music,’ says Sharon. ‘And you can see everything being prepared in front of you, in our open plan kitchen. Watch us baking and producing everything from scratch.’

Rough Hand Made

Handmade and heartfelt

Carlos’ South American heritage influences all of the food he bakes. ‘He mixes everything we’ve gone through in life together,’ says Sharon, ‘and the flavours and combinations are unique to us. He’s very creative. It’s not glossy,’ says Sharon. ‘But it’s real and good. Handmade food everyone can relate to it.’

Rough Hand Made will be enticing customers with its famous pastries - both sweet and savoury. Bread, pitta breads and sandwiches, which they’ll make fresh every day. ‘People are crazy about our pitta breads,’ says Evy. ‘They call them “fluffy clouds” But I’d pick the feta and mushroom puff pastry as my favourite.’

Baking is definitely undergoing a renaissance, thanks in part to television programmes like the Great British Bake Off, admits Evy. ‘You see more bakeries around Liverpool, too. People have a big interest in it; it’s good comfort food. Everyone likes a bakery, because the smell is so good. Half of the taste is the fresh-from-the-oven smell!

Rough Hand Made
Rough Hand Made

"Our range isn’t typical though. We have our unique recipes - they make it special. You won’t always find the same as last week – we bake from fresh, and once it’s sold out, it’s sold out, and we bring something new in."

Evy - Rough Hand Made

Rough Hand Made
Rough Hand Made

Family favourites

There are though, the family admit, some real favourites, that will always pop up on the menu. ‘Our walnut bread is very popular, as are our Belgian chocolate pastries,’ says Evy. ‘Little baby individual quiches for lunch always go down well,’ Sharon adds. ‘And our new pastry with cream cheese and blueberries. We try new things all the time. If they hit it off - fantastic. If not, we try something else!’

In spite of the reputation Rough Hand Made has cooked up, Carlos has no formal bakery training. ‘He’s self taught over many years,’ says Sharon. ‘We’ve developed our own work methods - we don’t bake in a conventional way, but the result is good. You can give two people the same recipe and the results aren’t always the same. That sort of regularity can take some of the creativity out of baking. Carlos loves to bake because he says you start with nothing and you create something. Just some flour, water, and other bits for flavour creates a whole new product.

‘We hope people will come here because there are unique, independent shops,’ she says. ‘Something special and different. We are us - that’s what makes it what it is. It’s about dedication. You can’t have a headache, or a backache. We’re up for 3:30am starts. It’s lots of hard work, but it’s fantastic. Believe in what you’re doing, and just do it.’

Rough Hand Made Bakery opens this summer in the Dock’s Britannia Pavilion.