Chorley baker shaking up 'free from' sector with delicious treats
A serious health scare changed the course of Sam Green’s career turning a passion for baking into a thriving ‘free from’ business with a focus on great taste.
A mum from Chorley is hoping to revolutionize the ‘free from’ industry with her bakery business, filling a tasty gap in the market she only discovered after her own surprising medical diagnosis.
Samantha Green, 37, launched The Little Free From Bakery in February 2021 after a serious health scare revealed that she was yeast and dairy intolerant.
Sam said: “Eighteen months ago I had a high flying career as a training consultant but the pressures of work, adapting to working from home and juggling childcare – all set against a backdrop of Covid started to take their toll. A few months into lockdown I started to get daily black outs that would result in me lying on the bathroom floor – fighting not to pass out.”
After numerous tests led to her yeast and dairy intolerance diagnosis, Sam discovered that yeast free indulgent treats were rare, and severely lacking in flavour.
Sam, who lives with her husband Danny and daughter Amelie in Chorley explained: “Dairy is fairly simple to avoid, however I quickly discovered that yeast is in so many foods – even packaged meat. I struggled to find any food, let alone treats, that were safe for me to eat and that is when the idea came along for the bakery. Most free from bakers specialise in gluten free and dairy but yeast is very rarely catered to.”
A keen baker since childhood, Sam said she began developing, testing and tweaking dairy and yeast free cake and brownie recipes, determined to create bakes that tasted just like the real deal, if not better.
Finding her ‘free from’ bakes were very popular amongst family and friends, she extended her focus to vegan, gluten free and low sugar treats, which resulted in the launch of The Little Free From Bakery.
Sam said: ““The ‘free from’ sector is expanding rapidly but I am a huge believer that ‘free from’ shouldn’t mean free from taste. Many mass market products just don’t hit the spot – they taste bland and lack in flavour, meaning there is a huge opportunity to create indulgent treats that taste as delicious as they should be."
This new venture changed the course of Sam's career and has since gone on to thrive, with the business seeing orders triple week on week.
The mum also explains that her new businesses has significantly boosted her physical and mental health.
Sam said: “Whilst the intolerances were something that I needed to work around, my symptoms continued and eventually I was diagnosed with acute stress.
“Since quitting my job in June this year and focusing on baking, which in itself is a form of relaxation for me, the symptoms have massively decreased and I’m finally starting to feel human again.
“For two years I have been scared and lost faith in my own brain and body – so this business means so much to me. Not only is it helping to cater for adults and children who have intolerances (some of which haven’t been able to indulge in cakes and treats for years), it has changed the course of my life – turning my passion into a new and fulfilling career.”
Samantha currently sells her products locally at Fredericks in Chorley and The Hub in Buckshaw Village, as well as via her website and social media channels.
She will also be launching a mail order service soon, hoping to expand her business nationally with products available to order for delivery across the UK.
Samantha added: “The events of 2020 have led to many personal changes for so many people and whilst it has been an extremely tough eighteen months or so, I am so glad that I have used everything that has happened to me to create something so positive that I am so passionate about. I really feel that I can change people’s perceptions of ‘free from’ baking. My ultimate aim is to develop a wide catalogue of recipes, all of which you would never be able to tell the difference.”