Coeliacs of the east rejoice. There is a place for you. And that place is Jakery Bakery in Southwold. 

The cake shop/cafe/deli at 38 High Street is a mecca for anyone unable to tolerate gluten in their diet...but owner Charlotte O’Bryen says most people can’t tell the difference between ‘regular’ cakes and bakes, and the feast arranged within her counter. 

Charlotte originally set up Jakery Bakery in Devon, deciding to make it entirely gluten-free upon relocating to Suffolk seven years ago. Her town centre shop celebrates its second anniversary this May. 

“The decision to go gluten-free was customer driven,” she says. “I had quite a few who said they were gluten intolerant or coeliac. And, as it turns out, my husband now has to eat gluten-free.” 

Charlotte came into baking later in life. She doesn’t have a romantic ‘round the table with nan’ story in her back pocket. Her desire to get into the kitchen was fuelled when she had her eldest child, Jake. “I realised I wanted to make sure he ate really nice, good food.” 

East Anglian Daily Times:

East Anglian Daily Times:

The baker, whose most popular treats are millionaire’s shortbread, stem ginger cake, brownies and raspberry Bakewells, uses a variety of high-quality flours in her products. 

Dove’s Organic is a staple in anything sweet. But she’s gone local for savoury bakes. “I use Hodmedod’s yellow pea flour in all my savoury stuff. It’s got a lovely flavour to it. Truly Traceable make our sausage rolls for us, and they use the same flour in their pastry.” 

It was madness, Charlotte says, to take on a shop in the middle of a pandemic. “But I’ve always wanted to have my own place,” she explains. “A lot of my market customers would ask me ‘when are you going to get somewhere?’, and my husband just said ‘let’s go for it’. I kept walking past this place I’m in now and I really liked it.  

“I was nervous about whether or not I should take it on, but I got talked into it, and before we knew it I’d signed a contract!” 

East Anglian Daily Times:

Jakery Bakery’s staple fodder is displayed across the counter. “We always have lots of lovely bakes. Usually there are custard tarts coming out of the oven first thing in the morning. Those are delicious warm with our coffee from Green Farm in Norwich. 

“Our bestseller from the counter is probably the lemon and blueberry sponge cake. It’s like a lemon drizzle. Almond macaroons go down well too. Today we’ve got treacle tarts, vegan apple and quince flapjacks and vegan bread pudding.” 

As lunchtime swings around even more options are unleashed from the kitchen. There will be a soup of the day, savoury pies (such as Cheddar and Adnams cider), wraps, frittatas, and deep-filled toasties stuffed with the likes of brie and caramelised onion, or Cheddar and sweet chilli jam. 

“Most of the things we do are vegetarian,” says Charlotte. “It’s only really the sausage rolls that contain meat.” 

East Anglian Daily Times:

A variety of hot and cold drinks to take away are available too. As are a growing band of locally produced items on the shelves, from a friend’s honey, to marmalades, jams and relishes made by The Quince Tree. 

“We’re getting busier and busier,” Charlotte adds. “And I think that’s because people are realising gluten-free tastes just as good!” 

Find Jakery Bakery products at Old Hall Café in Southwold, and Focus Organic in Halesworth. Charlotte will also be baking for the Greenpeace tent at Latitude this year. 

Jakery bakery is closed Tuesdays and Sundays, but open every other day 9.30am to 3pm.