At this festive time of year, most Crouchenders would agree that Dunns Bakery is the most Christmassy shop in the Broadway.
Lewis Freeman of Dunns Bakery is a sixth-generation baker, who took over the bakery from his father Christopher, when Christopher retired three years ago. Lewis has enjoyed Christmas at the bakery since he started helping his father out from a young age and has fond memories of decorating the shop window, packing mince pies, wrapping Christmas gingerbread and slicing bread for customers. The Dunns Bakery story started back in 1820, however, when Lewis’ great-great-great-Grandfather, Robert Freeman, set up a shop in Highgate.
It is always busy in the bakery during the lead up to Christmas, with a great buzz and lots of excitement, and has got busier over the years. During the festive period, Dunns sells an impressive 30,000 mince pies and baking begins at 3am every day and doesn’t stop until 12 noon, to ensure enough sweet treats are made.
The shop opens at 7am, Monday to Sunday, and from the moment the doors open, until they close at 6pm (or 5pm on a Sunday), there is a constant queue of customers due to Covid-19 distancing measures. The queue moves quickly however, as team Dunns are used to working quickly and collaboratively and the customers are used to the queue by now! Lewis describes the festive period as a marathon, not a sprint – but always an exciting and enjoyable one!
Lewis himself oversees the smooth running of Dunns and he spends his days in the bakery and the office. Since opening the new Muswell Hill shop in November, Lewis travels between the Crouch End and Muswell Hull shops at least twice a day. After the shops close, Lewis checks production sheets and home deliveries for the next day and usually clocks off at around 7pm.
Lewis and Christopher are both big fans of Christmas. Christopher was even the star in the VISA ‘All they want for Christmas is you’ advert in 2018 and did the backing vocals on the advert! Lewis appeared in VISA’s ‘Where you shop matters’ advert, which focused on local businesses, earlier this year.
During the pandemic the bakery adapted to offer home delivery by bike. – making up to 150 deliveries each day – and still offers this service for those needing home delivery – making approximately 20 deliveries per day now.
One thing’s for sure, it wouldn’t be Christmas without Dunns Bakery.
As a long-standing member of the Craft Bakers Association (CBA), Dunns Bakery is a Diamond CBA member.