Friday, 24 August 2012
'5 Questions' - Tapa Organic
The next local food business to 'bare all' for Gerry's Kitchen is Tapa Organic. This bakery-cum-cafe which is certified organic by the Soil Association can be found at two separate Glasgow locations. The eastenders in Dennistoun and the southsiders in Shawlands will be familiar with the huge range of artisan breads and home roasted coffee that is on offer. If you can't manage to get into either branch, you can still buy their wonderful products at Whole Foods Market in Giffnock or by taking a trip to the fortnightly Partick farmers market in Glasgow's West End.
How did you get started?
We arrived in Glasgow 10 years ago and missed the independent neighbourhood cafes that we'd frequented when living in New Zealand. At the time, Glasgow seemed to have a lot of classic old Italian cafes and giant national or global coffee chains, but not much in between; at least, not where we were living on the southside.
We thought we should open one ourselves and since we were struggling to find a supplier of good quality homemade cakes and scones, we thought we'd bake them ourselves. At the time we made the decision to as roast our own coffee too, that way we could make sure that we got really good quality beans, freshly roasted. The site we eventually found in Dennistoun had been a neighbourhood bakery from the time the building was put up until the last baker had retired. By this time, we were experimenting with bread making too, and it was our bread that really took off when we eventually opened.
What’s the best piece of business advice you could give?
Based on experience, we would need to give these two pieces of advice. First of all, hire a bookkeeper at the outset to keep everything organised & produce reliable data. Secondly, always buy the right tool (or hire the right person) for the job - equipment doesn't have to be new, but it has to be able to do the job it was designed for. Trying to take shortcuts or save a few pennies on a compromise will cost more in the long run and there is rarely the need to reinvent the wheel.
Where would you like to see your business in 5 years time?
Producing more great organic products and tasty coffees, and making them available to more people across Scotland. We would like to take on more apprentices and run more baking classes to share all the knowledge we've gained.
If you could only have one of your own products, what would it be & why?
A toss-up between the Light Rye bread and a bag of freshly roasted coffee beans. The Light Rye because it is such a tasty, versatile bread. The coffee because it's just what you need with a slice of Light Rye toast. Please don't make us choose one or t'other!
You can invite one person (living or dead) to your last meal – Who would it be and why? …and what’s on the menu?
Hildegard of Bingen because she was such a polymath and champion of spelt. I think we'd have breakfast: poached eggs on Tapa spelt toast with a pot of Tapa coffee. Perhaps preceded by a shot of the palinka that our Hungarian baker's dad makes (it's good for the digestion!).
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