Bread of Heaven: part 2

So what inspired them to leave the rat race and move to one of the mildest climates and most beautiful environments in Britain? Toby, 44, first visited St Martin's in the early 1980s and was irresistibly drawn to the island. At the time he was living in Brighton but working in London, running a photographic laboratory. He finally sold the business in 1992, packed his bags, and moved to St Martin's. He found accommodation with a local fisherman and worked on boats and in the St Martin's Hotel. Louise, 34, from Bristol, also fell in love with the island during a holiday and found a job in the same hotel. They have been married for five years and both knew that they wanted to start their own business. Breadmaking happened almost by chance – the learning process was very much atrial and error. “We taught ourselves to bake in our own kitchen,'' Toby remembers. "We sold our loaves at the campsite nearby for campers to buy – just 25 or 30 a day.” The business expanded rapidly. The bakery opened four years ago and this year it will be extended into the old fire station next door. The shop is becoming more like a deli, offering picnic food for holidaymakers to take to the beach. Toby and Louise now grow their own organic fruit and vegetables and keep ducks, chickens, and a pig. They have also started running baking classes in the quieter months of the year. The point of all their work, Toby says, isn't money. They both earn less than they would have if they'd stayed in hotel work. The satisfaction comes from providing a useful service – and living in a place for which they have a real 'love and affinity'. Is there anything they miss from their pre-Scillies life? As their two dogs wander happily around and a falcon flies overhead in the fresh wind of the sea, there is a long silence.


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