The Revel Bakery proves they are the upper crust with re-launch months after a fire nearly destroyed them
Words by Ellen Manning
Photographs by Jamie Gray
We’re all familiar with the mythical tale of the phoenix rising from the ashes and it can certainly be a bit of an over-used metaphor. But the Revel Bakery is the real deal when it comes to that kind of resurrection – and it’s right on Rugby’s doorstep.
You might have heard of Revel. Once based at Malt Kiln Farm in Stretton-under-Fosse, bakers Maurice Hartnett and Lac Hincu had been making award-winning loaves for some time.
Their philosophy is that good ingredients, time and no additives leads to great-tasting products, and that’s paid off. As well as producing bread and patisserie sold regularly at Malt Kiln, Revel supplies several popular eateries in and around Rugby, from Delish Deli to the espresso bar at Garden Barn in Cotesbach, and was a longstanding favourite with the now-closed Nook on the Square in Dunchurch.
Such was their success, in February they opened Revelicious in Churchside Arcade. With Lac and her patisserie skills at the helm, Revelicious began wooing Rugby with sweet treats from macarons to cakes and tarts. On top of all that, the talented team were offering bread and macaron courses to pass on their skills and spread the word, with rave reviews coming in from all those who took part.
It was all going so well. Until disaster struck.
In June a blaze ripped through Malt Kiln Farm, decimating the farm shop and, with it, Revel Bakery. In one night, everything Lac and Maurice had worked for was gone and they were left facing an uncertain future. They carried on doing what they could at Revelicious, but asking two bakers to bake loaves on a scale they had been yet without the right facilities is a bit like asking someone to win a grand prix with only three wheels.
Lesser bakers might have crumbled. But less than four months later Revel has been reborn – literally like a phoenix from the ashes – with a brand new bakery and plenty of plans for the future.
The baking headquarters has moved. Down the road from Malt Kiln, a former woodworking workshop in the tiny hamlet of Little Walton near Pailton has been converted into a shiny new professional bakery, complete with the aptly-named whopper of an oven – Phoenix.
As soon as they could, Lac and Maurice, along with their third baking buddy Alice, got in there and started turning out their trademark loaves ranging from white to wholemeal to sourdough and focaccia, all with names that tip a nod to the local area like the Fosse, the Malt Kiln, the Monks Kirby and, of course, the Revel.
They relaunched at the weekend with breads back on offer at Malt Kiln and a special little reopening ceremony attended by some of their nearest and dearest, as well as neighbours the Earl and Countess of Denbigh, at the new bakery on Sunday. Hologram was on hand to try some of their freshly-baked pizza and have a chat with Maurice and Lac about the past few months and their excitement about the future.
It’s been a tough few months for the pair of them, but they’re more than happy with their new home. Hidden down tiny lanes with wheat fields all around, it seems the perfect place for a bakery.
Maurice told us: “It’s like when you want to buy a house. You see all sorts that tick the boxes but they’re not quite right, then you walk into one and think, ‘this is it, this is the one’. That’s what it felt like.”
It’s hard to believe the pristine, shiny professional kitchen was once a woodturning workshop. There’s even room to expand one day, with a space that Maurice can imagine being perfect as an educational space for their courses.
But in the meantime, all they want to do is get back to baking and be good neighbours to their new area, taking care not to disturb the idyllic surroundings they’ve found themselves in. They’re even having their flour deliveries brought down the lanes by a local farmer and his forklift rather than huge lorries rumbling through the countryside.
And there won’t be huge numbers of people traipsing out to Little Walton for their daily bread supply. The bakery is just the production site, with loaves on offer at Revelicious, Malt Kiln, and a growing number of places across the area – including the mighty Coombe Abbey.
For Lac, it’s the culmination of a very tough few months but she’s over the moon to be back baking bread for her fans in Rugby and beyond.
“It’s been hard, really hard,” she told Hologram. “But I can’t thank all our friends, family and loyal customers enough for sticking with us and helping us through this. We love our new home and we’re just glad to be back baking bread again. Thank you everyone, it’s great to be back.”
Revelicious is open Thursday and Friday 9am-3.30pm and Saturday 9am-4.30pm
Churchside Arcade, Little Church Street, Rugby