Updated: Friday, 22nd September 2017 @ 5:40pm

Watch: Manchester's Pollen Bakery a constant hive of activity as locals aim to get their sourdough fix

Watch: Manchester's Pollen Bakery a constant hive of activity as locals aim to get their sourdough fix

| By Karilynn DeWolff

With a reputation for producing the most desirable pastries, soughdoughs and cruffins in Manchester, it's clear to see why Pollen Bakery is proving such a hit.

Tucked away underneath a railway arch near Manchester’s Piccadilly Station, Pollen Bakery is the brainchild of Chris Kelly and Hannah Calvert left their banking jobs with an aim to produce the best quality breads and pastries.

Growing in popularity, eager customers form a spectacular queue outside the bakery —even in the rain — before it even opens its doors in the mornings.

When speaking about the beginnings of Pollen Bakery, Chris told MM: “I had a real thirst for good ingredients. I baked at home and then Hannah and I talked about not wanting to sit in an office all day.

“It was going to be more of a general store idea, selling fruit and veg—all the necessities—with a bread option but then it turned into a bakery.”

Chris and Hannah have been baking sourdough since 2011 in their home kitchens, then in 2016 they both took the plunge and started Pollen Bakery to bring ‘great real bread’ to central Manchester.

Chris sources locally grown and milled grains for his sourdough, believing that hearty flavours start with hearty grains.


DELICIOUS: Just some of the treats on offer at Pollen Bakery

He says: “We speak to the miller quite frequently and he only gets wheat within 50 miles from his mill. We then stone-ground the organic grains at the shop to ensure freshness.”

Not only is the grain locally sourced, but Chris and Hannah have also honed their skills when developing their sourdough yeast cultures.

The fermentation process is long, about 28 hours, but this ensures all the nutrients and flavours are unlocked from the grain.

Additionally, their Viennoiserie pastries take four days to make and include the ‘cruffin’, which includes different varieties throughout the week.

The spectacle of the queue outside Pollen Bakery each morning is enough to turn anyone’s head and force baking enthusiasts to wait in line—it is worth the wait with the smell of fresh bread and sugary pastries wafting from the railway arch.


POPULAR: Hannah prepares the cruffins for the waiting crowds

Anna, who was waiting in the queue, says: “I’m a real keen foodie and I think it’s great to support a local business.”

Tourists, as well as locals, join the queue—all curious and keen to taste Mancunian-made breads and treats.

Jeanne Cooper, a travel writer from San Francisco in the US, added: “I have heard good things about Pollen Bakery so I had to check it out.

“I was told it was the number one place to come in Manchester and I can’t wait to try one of their cruffins.”  

Pollen Bakery is open from 8am on Wednesdays to Fridays and from 9am Saturdays until their bread sells out in the afternoons.