Syd Aston always was a man ahead of his time: he has been passionate about organic food since the 1960s. His parents farmed organically, in Pembrokeshire, and young Syd grew up surrounded by environmentally aware people who very much practised what they preached. From an early age Syd knew he wanted to be part of that movement.
In 1982, he bought a smallholding in Glamorgan, turned its old faggot oven into a bread oven, and for the next nine years sold his bread in Cardiff. But when the recession began to affect sales he decided to move to London where he thought there might be more demand.
In 1993 he took the bakery from Cardiff to Cricklewood. ‘It seems odd now, but 10 years ago it was difficult to sell organic bread. I think people bought my bread solely because it tasted good.’
Syd and his team try to make the business as ethically sound as possible: no artificial additives, the use of fossil fuels kept to a minimum, recycled packaging, and nothing hidden from the customers – right down to the sunflower oil used to line the bread tins.