The Crusty Cob was established in 1969 by Michael and Patricia Tubbs who purchased an existing bakery at 75 Yonder Street, Ottery St Mary, Devon. The bakery had a coal fired Brick-lined Oven, which called for Michael to use a wooden peel to individually feed the loaves directly into the oven onto the hot bricks of the oven floor.
Whilst at Exeter Bakery College in 1952, Michael won a twelve month scholarship to be tutored in Switzerland, and in 1957 whilst working for Cadena Bakery in Bristol he won another six month Scholarship to perfect his confectionery skills in Germany. At the age of 35 and armed with his artisan knowledge and skills, he and Patricia moved to Ottery St Mary with their young family – and set about providing a high level of service, and quality of product to their new customers. Michael was responsible for the baking, Patricia was in charge of the shop, and they lived above the premises with their four young children – Neil, Simon, Howard & Trudy.
For many years they benefited from the unique help and encouragement of the first generation of bakers in the family in the form of Michael’s father, Ron - working alongside him in the bakery, and Patricia’s father, Victor Napper- making Fudge and Toffee for the shop, both of whom were also skilled Bakers and Confectioners and had moved to Devon shortly after Michael and Patricia. In her early years Patricia had been trained in the skilled art of ‘Royal Icing’ whilst working for her father in Bristol, and was then able to use her skills to run a highly successful Celebration Cake department within the new business.
After 20 years Michael moved the manufacturing Bakery to Exeter Airport Business Park, and the old Bakehouse was converted to residential dwellings.
The business was incorporated into a Limited Company called The Crusty Cob (Creations) Ltd in 2003, when Michael and Patricia retired and passed the business on to three of their children (Neil, Howard and Trudy). Still trading under the name of The Crusty Cob, Neil, Howard and Trudy are joint Directors of the company and share the day to day running of the business between them. They are supported by a loyal workforce of over One Hundred employees who work alongside them in the Bakery and Shops.
Neil’s daughter Jessica is part of the workforce which makes her the third generation of The Crusty Cob and the fourth generation in the Baking trade.
Neil, Howard and Trudy are proud to uphold and promote the high quality of product, and level of service that Michael and Patricia introduced in 1969, and are keen to continue baking traditional, wholesome products for many years to come.