How I Got Here: Darren Bland

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

How I Got Here with Hoxton Bakehouse founding director Darren Bland

Related tags: bakery

The founding director of Hoxton Bakehouse, which operates five locations across the UK with at least two more in the pipeline, reflects on his career to date.

Why bakery?
The love of bread.

Tell us something you wish you had been told at the start of your career?
Time is precious so use it wisely.

What’s your favourite bakery (besides your own)?
Du Pain et des Idées in Paris.

What motivates you?
Family.

What keeps you up at night?
Opening new shops.

Which colleague, mentor or employer has had the biggest influence on your approach to the restaurant business?
Jim Norris.

What time do you wake up?
4am.

Coffee or tea?
Coffee.

What’s your signature dish to cook at home?
Roast lamb.

Typical Sunday?
I always go for a 10 mile run on a Sunday morning before the kids wake up, then we go for a coffee and a bun at Hoxton Bakehouse in Lymington followed by a long walk in the new forest. Then always a Sunday roast in the afternoon. 

What’s the most spontaneous thing you’ve ever done?
Joined the Royal Marines Reserves.

Favourite holiday destination?
Cornwall.

What was your dream job growing up?
Footballer.

Worst business decision?
Doing too much.

Best business decision?
Doing less and learning to say no.

What piece of advice would you give to those looking to climb the rungs in the business?
Never quit when times get tough, keep powering forward and learn to adapt. 

If you could change one thing about the restaurant industry today, what would it be?
Restaurants that use tweezers to plate.

Bio

Born in Essex, Bland left school at 16 and started his career in hospitality working at The Schoolhouse bar and restaurant in London's Battersea. During his career as a pastry chef he's worked at a number of high-profile places including the OXO tower, Smiths of Smithfield’s and Searcys London. He founded Hoxton Bakehouse with his wife Florence Hellier in 2014.

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