Sisters Doing It For Themselves
The Bridge Bakehouse is a beautiful family- run artisan patisserie and is the pride and joy of Whaley Bridge, Derbyshire.
Sisters Camilla and Courtney started out by selling homemade treats during their childhood summer holidays, and have come full circle to run their own bakery and shop in Whaley Bridge.
The Bridge Bakehouse is a happy combination of its owners’ home town and family. Camilla Dignan runs Whaley Bridge’s much-loved independent bakery and shop with her sister Courtney Dignan. While Courtney looks after the retail side of things, Camilla, along with her team of talented bakers, creates a blend of classic British favourites and fine French patisserie to be delivered each morning for both wholesale and café customers. Her mum and dad are also involved in the business, and inspiration goes right back to the sisters’ Nana with whom they learnt to bake while visiting her in Wales, and would then set up cake stalls to treat other holidaymakers to their efforts!
Before embarking on The Bridge Bakehouse journey, Camilla was a pastry chef with experience of working in high-end restaurants – including Fischers in Baslow – and the Young Pastry Chef of the Year title to her name.
The lucky residents of Whaley Bridge can pop by Courtney’s shop whenever they fancy a treat or a takeaway lunch. Coffees, teas, sandwiches, savoury bakes and cakes are available during the day from the café to be enjoyed under the awning; the outdoor seating is always occupied even when it’s snowing! Local recommendation has been important to Camilla, who is still adding to her repertoire as she experiments with new trends and flavours alongside the well- known favourites. “We try to provide something for everyone,” she says, “and most people do say ‘wow’ when they see the counter, and some take half an hour to choose what they want!”
They also take their treats to farmers’ markets and other local events including Chatsworth Christmas Market, and have thought about the possibility of other shops but like to keep the business small and personal. For Camilla and Courtney it’s all about making the things they love to eat, so continuing to create great bakes is top of the agenda!