The Polish Village Bakery began as a small bakery with big ambitions. Founded by Piotr Tomicki and Robert Ziola, two Poles with a burning passion for making great tasting, naturally good bread and confectionery, the company has had one main mission since its inception – to cultivate and promote an appreciation for the unique tastes and textures of Polish baked goods.
Unlike the soft, flaky wheat-based breads commonly produced in the rest of the world, Polish bread is traditionally made with rye flour and is created using a sour dough starter, which means that it is yeast- and preservative-free and high in nutrients. This combination gives the bread an intense flavour, malty aroma and a moist, firm texture and crumb, which is complimented by a robust, glazed crust.
Bread from Poland is far from one-dimensional. Thanks to the creativity of Polish bakers and their bread-loving clientele, this foodstuff comes in a staggering array of forms and varieties, including challah bread, white bread, sourdough bread, baguettes and crescent rolls. Although rye is the staple flour used in most bread products in Poland, many bakeries also like to experiment by adding other types of flour, including wheat, wholegrain, and rarer grains such as spelt and amaranth, as well as different types of seeds, from caraway to poppy seed. Other much-loved favourites are sweetened breads such as babka, which is made with candied and dried fruits; and chalka, the braided egg bread, similar to brioche that is served at Christmas and Easter. And let’s not forget regional delicacies such as bagels and korowai celebration bread!
These distinctive tastes and flavours have helped to make bread one of the single biggest exports from Poland, outstripping beer and vodka by as much as 400 per cent. It is also the main reason why Polish Village Bread is the signature product of the Polish Village brand. Since Poland became a member of the European Economic Area, the demand for Polish pastries, cakes and bread outside of the country has steadily increased, particularly in Britain, Ireland and Germany which have large populations of Polish immigrants.
To meet the needs of this growing demand in the UK, the Polish Village Bread Company was founded in 2004 and fast became the best Polish bakery in London. Right from the start, Robert and Piotr were personally committed to producing the freshest, tastiest Polish baked goods made with natural ingredients and using traditional recipes, executed in the most modern of environments. To achieve this, they chose to import their rye flour directly from Poland, and invested in the very best gas ovens money could buy. On their first day of production, the 22nd of April 2004, they baked 70 loaves of bread. Today that figure now exceeds 10,000 loaves per day, with Polish Village Bread now stocked far and wide in a mixture of speciality stores, delicatessens and supermarkets all over the country.
Whilst their initial focus was on perfecting their recipes for traditional Polish rye bread products, Piotr and Robert soon expanded their range to include pastries and cakes. These days they produce in the region of 200 products, including 60 different kinds of breads and rolls, 100 varieties of cakes and cream cakes and 30 types of pastries and doughnuts.
Although the bakery’s core customer base continues to be members of the Polish expatriate community, the Polish Village Bread has, over the years, also developed a faithful following amongst the locals, including the odd celebrity! They are in good company. Other self-confessed famous fans of Polish breadstuff include Mick Jagger, Jeremy Irons, Madeleine Albright, Placido Domingo, Nastasia Kinsky and Fish, of Marillion fame.
This has been in large part due to the passion and dedication of Piotr, Robert and the team, who are always striving to innovate and improve on their existing offerings, going to great lengths to satisfy even the most discerning of palates. Their honesty, humility, reliability and great sense of humour are only some of the reasons why people love doing business with them.
Such commitment has allowed the business to gradually expand from one small London bakery almost ten years ago, into the largest Polish bakery in the UK today. As part of this expansion, Polish was opened in 2006/7 to service the north of England and Scotland.