Quality is all-important to Alexander Jacobs, a passion that has seen his Sussex Kitchen business scoop a host of prestigious awards and the honour of numbering Michelin starred restaurants among the many discerning customers he supplies with superb products.
What began as a small catering business nine years ago has blossomed into a multi-award-winning artisan craft bakery supplying a wide selection of exceptional goods, using top-quality local organic produce and biodynamic ingredients. Sourdough, his most popular and biggest-selling item, was winner of the World Bread Award.
Based in a busy unit at Sheffield Park, operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week with a workforce of 25, the Sussex Kitchen is now an impressive wholesale outlet providing wonderful organic breads, patisseries, ice creams and sorbets to local farm shops, cafes and restaurants.
It also has a thriving retail arm. Alexander has been inspired to team up with dedicated local growers of great organic produce, meat, poultry and dairy products to set up an online shop to enable everyone with a passion for good food the chance to enjoy a great choice of the best flavours from Sussex and further afield.
“I had been a chef in London for several years but when my eldest son was born we decided central London was not the best place for him to grow up, so we moved to Sussex,” Alexander explains.
“I tried to find work in local restaurants but couldn’t get anything I found satisfying as the quality just wasn’t there. Then sadly my grandfather died and he left me some money – it was split between 25 grandchildren so it wasn’t much, but by then I’d realised that if I really wanted something, I had to do it myself.
“I used the money to take out a lease on a little unit just outside East Grinstead, got a couple of ovens and some bits and pieces and started a catering business.
“The Sussex Kitchen just grew and grew and five years ago we moved to Sheffield Park and it has continued to grow ever since. It’s a 24-hour operation. Our breads and pastries make up about 80 per cent of what we sell. Because we pride ourselves on high quality and being affordable, we supply people all the way from Brighton up to South London.
“Having won World Bread Awards, we want to encourage people to try great bread but on the retail side, in the shop we have partnered up with other small firms as a way of helping businesses in the local community and also giving customers a broad choice of some of the best-quality, interesting foods in Sussex, things which are innovative and just a bit different.
“We get raw milk and some of our cheeses from a community-run farm in Forest Row. Another farm supplies us with the most amazing biodynamic fruit and vegetables you have ever seen, and we have meat from Highland Longhorn Cattle which are exclusively grass-fed.
“The idea is that as well as offering people our own great bread and pastries, at the Sussex Kitchen we can offer them a range of very special and very interesting high-quality products, the best taste of the county.” •
For more information, tel: 01825 722 201 or