Originally from Argentina and having lived in Spain since 2008, Luciano studied networking and later massage, before moving to England in 2014, where he worked as a decorator and a health care assistant. A keen cook and food lover, along with bodyboarding led him to North Devon where he is now in the process of opening a bakery.
He fell in love with bread making after his landlord gave him a sourdough starter, which he named Dieter to honour him after his death in 2021. Initially he froze the starter as he didn’t have the time, but during the lockdowns of the COVID-19 pandemic, he began to experiment, making bread and sweet treats for friends and neighbours. As the popularity of his bread and pastries grew, he took on a job at a local restaurant in Lynmouth to grow his skills and knowledge. By June 2021, he had registered his own business and was baking at home for local shops, investing in a baking oven and mixer to enable him to put the business on a more commercial footing.
A move to a large house gave him a whole floor where he could bake and store his products which he sold at local markets and events. With demand outstripping his ability to bake, he started looking for a unit and he is now in the process of establishing his own bakery at Venn Valley, near Landkey in North Devon.
“I heard about the grants available from the Start and Grow Devon programme through a friend who was also applying for one for his new business” he explained. “I found the requirements of the application process quite stressful as there was so much information that needed to be collated and I am a creative person, not someone who enjoys paperwork.”
However, it was all worth it as he was successful in his grant application and able to purchase equipment to help establish his business. He is now receiving support from the GetSet Adapt programme to help develop it further with regular 1:1 sessions with an expert advisor.
“I am lucky that there is not a huge amount of competition in terms of sourdough bakeries in the immediate area and that my customers really appreciate the quality and the taste of what I produce,” Luciano commented. “One lady drives a 60-mile round trip to buy my bread which she describes as the best bread she has ever tasted!”
“I am really excited about my new bakery which has been made possible with the grant money and the fantastic business support I have received,”
Luciano plans to expand his range of products based on customer feedback and introduce items not available from other bakeries.
As part of his work to raise the profile of his business, he is participating with eat:Festivals who organise events across the South West and he plans to sell at markets in Dunster, Dulverton, Lynton and Lynmouth to take advantage of the potential market across Exmoor as well as Connect & Create in Barnstaple and South Molton Food Fests, and more to come.
When asked what advice he would give anyone else thinking of starting a business, he encourages them “not to let others crush their dreams and to aim high to make it happen.”