Fifth generation Crouch End baker serving loyal customers for decades to retire
- Credit: Archant
A baker who spent 45 years running one of the most popular bakeries in London has announced he is handing over the keys to his son.
Christopher Freeman, a fifth generation baker, took over Dunn’s from his father David in 1973. When he hands over to his son, Lewis, baking will have been in the family for six generations.
“When I started, Crouch End had a very different retail sector,” Mr Freeman said. “There was competition from nationals and independents. We had two ABC Bakeries, as well as several independent bakers including Halls and Spurriers. While familiar names have disappeared, we have continued by focussing on quality, service and, most importantly, valuing the loyalty of our wonderful customers.
“The range of breads, snacks, cakes and fancies we now offer would have been unimaginable to my father. We have always welcomed change and responded to the needs of customers, who always know best,” he added.
In 1991 Mr Freeman organised the first national Doughnut Week which to date has raised more than £900,000 for children’s charities. A member of the Worshipful Company of Bakers, Mr Freeman was elected president of the Craft Bakers’ Association in 2012.
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With regular media appearances, Mr Freeman, married to Christina, has become a voice for independent bakeries whilst Dunn’s has appeared in TV ads for British Telecom, co-starring Bob Hoskins, and featured in an episode of the The Victorian Bakery.
Lewis kneaded his first loaf when he was 13-years-old. After completing his bakery training and gaining experience in other bakeries, he attended Reading University’s Henley Business School.
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”For nearly 200 years Dunn’s has welcomed new ideas and demands from customers and adopted new ways of doing things. That is how I plan to carry on – subtle changes to ensure we remain the best,” Lewis said.
Although looking forward to retirement after so many early mornings, Mr Freeman said: “More than anything I will miss the customers and colleagues who have been with us through thick and thin, who have made Crouch End such a wonderful place to live and work.
“I thank them and all my fabulous staff for their loyalty and, above all, friendship,” Mr Freeman added.