February 2019

Sebastian celebrates first anniversary of opening own bakery business

Read time: approx 3 mins

A former University College Birmingham student is set to mark his first full year of trading after setting up his own bakery business.

Sebastian Clough opened his independent bakery OnTheBreadLine in Four Oaks in February 2018, three years after he graduated from UCB with a Level 3 Diploma in Professional Bakery.

“I have always wanted my own business,” said Sebastian. “We opened in February last year and it was a great success.

“It's crazy to think in a couple of weeks we'll be celebrating one year since opening!”

It's the latest step on a journey which started for Sebastian at just 13 years old when he learned the basic skills of baking in the Junior Bakers Academy, a six-week summer course at UCB.

He subsequently returned to the University after finishing school and spent three years studying at the College of Food, completing a Level 1 Diploma in Bakery and Confectionery before moving onto his Level 2 and Level 3 courses.

“It all started when I visited the University and did the summer school for the younger ones,” explained Sebastian, now aged 23. “That's where my journey began.

“I enjoyed every part of being a student at UCB. Looking back, I learned the basic skills to start my career and learned so much about the industry.”

Sebastian also secured three placements through the University, spending two separate spells in the pastry kitchen at The Belfry Hotel and Resort near Sutton Coldfield, as well as working at the Balthazar Restaurant and Boulangerie in London.

“UCB helped me get in contact about the placements and got me the right numbers to call,” he said. “I chose to put myself out of my comfort zone, learning different recipes and skills.”

That background helped Sebastian secure a place at The French Pastry School of Chicago, where he studied L'Art de la Pâtisserie for six months, working alongside world-class pastry chefs, chocolatiers and cake designers.

He then went on to realise his ambition of starting his own business with OnTheBreadLine, and he has no intention of stopping there, developing new products in the hope of growing his operation.

“I'm gradually adding new and different products, such as our Nutella and Caramelised Hazelnut Swirl,” said Sebastian. “Our two most popular products are the Chocolate and Chilli Bread and our Green Olive and White Truffle Focaccia.

“I want to develop a successful and steady business where I keep adding new products and flavours, then my plan is to move into a shop where I can increase volume and build a good solid team behind me.”

And Sebastian also had some advice for any prospective students planning to follow in his footsteps by enrolling at UCB.

“UCB gives you excellent opportunities,” he said. “Work hard, but have fun!”

Take a look at Sebastian's work

Find out more about studying bakery at UCB and our courses within the College of Food.

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