Based in the quiet streets of Kennington, family-run Sally White is a bakery famous for its welcoming atmosphere and delicious baked goods. Loved by locals, it’s a great spot to grab a Gibson’s and a brownie whilst you catch up with friends and loved ones. We sat down with co-founder Mark, to find out a little bit more about the history behind Sally White.
What’s the history behind Sally White?
Well, it’s named after my wife, who is Sally White whom I met when we were both working at Konditor and Cook, a retail bakery group where I was a senior manager. Sally had always been a great home cook, she enjoys cooking for a living and as a result she took up a catering contract at the Design Museum on the Southbank, which is where the basis of the business formed back in 2000. After 10 years, she expanded to take on the contract catering at Peter De Haan’s IdeasTap in Bermondsey.
In 2012 we opened a retail site in the new Westfield Stratford, but while it was a unique insight into how this environment functioned, we realised it wasn’t for us!
While the Design Museum closed to relocate to its new site in Kensington, we came across our current site through a friend who encouraged us to set up in Kennington and so we decided to give it a go. We opened it for “pennies” in March 2013 and it was an immediate success; a nice spot for people in the area to grab a coffee and have a quick chat or a handmade lunch to go.
We also attracted a clique of select corporate clients such as the Richemont Group [Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Montblanc], Margaret Howell and many more. Bar a few national lockdowns, we’ve been trading pretty much every day ever since.
I like to describe it jokingly as a “Posh Greggs”, as we offer a range of products across all “day parts” but using only the highest quality ingredients and all homemade. In a nutshell, it’s good quality home cooking, a real labour of love by Sally and our team.
Who’s on the team?
It’s run by Sally – who does all the baking – me [I restrict myself to savoury items] and these days even our daughter does a few morning shifts now and again. In addition, we have about 6 full-time employees in the small site.
How did you come to know Gibson’s Goodology?
I know the founder Gibson personally. We met back in 2008 when Sally and I worked at Konditor and Cook. He was consulting on the operational side, helping to restructure the business and we’ve remained good friends ever since.
For me it’s the passionfruit and green tea; it’s so well-balanced between sweet and tart. Funnily enough, I sometimes enjoy having the passion fruit first thing in the morning to give me that little extra boost to get me through the first couple hours of the day – a kind of “eye-opener”.
As people love our brownies more than anything else [we sell at least six trays a day] I’d love to expand this part of the business, but it needs to be done properly. Richemont staff even used to take them back in suitcases to Geneva & Paris to give to their families. They are very very good, and I’d love to put them out online as a delivery business. I did start up a frozen brownies business a few years back, but that’s a story for another time.
We’re even looking into creating a CBD brownie, it’s just the issue of working out the dosage and formula to make sure that the effects are still intact after baking and the taste isn’t compromised. Anyway, that’s my plan for the future, maybe I’ll start off small with something like salted caramel first!