GOWER STORIES: little valley bakery

GOWER STORIES: little valley bakery



Little Valley Bakery


Little Valley Bakery is a sensory feast guaranteed to delight; morning sunlight dances across the storefront, the air is alive with birdsong and customers are welcomed by the ever-present smell of freshly baked bread. The delicious results of early mornings line the shelves as rows of cinnamon buns, sourdough loaves, brownies, focaccia and croissants, challenge the most confident of decision makers. Set in the heart of Parkmill’s industrious cobbled courtyard, Little Valley is a must-stop for all passers by, beach goers and artisan bakery lovers alike. 

Bakery owners and buttery treat fanatics, Alec and Tamara have developed their passion for quality baked goods over the years. They met in Gorseinon College and spent a summer together travelling around France where they fell in love with the culture and scenery but most importantly, the countless artisan bakeries. Coming back to Wales was a shock to their taste buds, so Swansea Bread Weekly, a subscription based bread delivery service was born in 2014. Over 9 years later, Little Valley bakery operates over two sites in both Parkmill and Brynmill keeping the whole of Swansea and Gower supplied with the best organic, artisan bakes and breads around.

As picture-perfect and idyllic as it sounds, the life of a baker is a graft. With over 7 bakers, the team at Little Valley supply to numerous local cafes, restaurants and shops in the area alongside their own two outlets meaning that these pre-dawn greeters start prepping at 2am. We popped down to the bakery one morning for a croissant and to find out what keeps Alec and Tamara’s love of bread alive - and to meet the resident robin of course.

“My Mum is a chef and I baked a lot with her when I was younger. I’ve just carried on really and now get to do this professionally. I just love the process of baking. It’s so satisfying when everything comes together - you start with 3 simple ingredients and end up with a beautiful loaf of bread - it just feels so good!” 

Laughing, Alec added, “and you can get all your work done by 10am and head home!” 

“Here at Little Valley Bakery we bake really good bread with good ingredients and good stuff comes out!. We’re an artisan bakery using organic flour, organic salt and are famous for our sourdough which is essentially really slow processed bread. We also bake cinnamon buns which are everyone's absolute favourite, all the time, even 7 years later. Then we have our patisserie, so a lot of croissants and my personal favourite, pain au chocolat. Tam’s favourite is the focaccia as it’s oily, salty and so good! We also bake Danish and cakes too - basically everything buttery and tasty and delicious!

Back in 2015 we were invited to a food festival here in Park Mill, then were asked if we wanted to take over the empt unit to run our bakery from. We were young and naive enough to take it on! Now, this unit feels pretty small so we bake all our breads here and all the patisserie and croissants in Brynmill. We have 7 bakers overall that start at staggered times throughout the morning at 2am, 4am and 6am.” 

We’ve been here on Gower since 2016, which is coming up to 7 years this July, which is wild! It feels like a long time now, but it’s been great to see things grow. There are so many cool small businesses which have been cropping up around the area which weren’t here a few years ago; it’s great to be part of this community.

What we love about the Gower is what’s all around us. We’re fully surrounded by nature and yet you never feel isolated here. It’s such a remarkable place as we’re a 15 minute drive to a city yet right now, in the middle of nowhere and incredibly it’s beautiful. Three Cliffs Bay is just down the path and it’s the best place for spending a lot of time hanging out and not doing much.

It may seem like a tasty-wonderland being surrounded by freshly prepared baked goods every day, but it’s clear to see that these two purveyors of all things buttery and beautiful are incredibly hardworking and dedicated. We asked both Alec and Tamara to describe their life here in three words: 

Happy People - Beautiful Nature - Peaceful  

If you haven’t visited either of the Little Valley bakeries before, you need to close your laptop, put down your phone, find your trousers with the elasticated waistband and hit the road. Grab yourself those baked goods, maybe a beer or two, settle into your favourite spot with that view and savour...

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