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A day in the life of... Fitzbillies baker Anthony Burton

Ahead of the Cambridge BID and Cambridge Independent job fair - free for visitors on October 4, 2022 - we’re speaking to people in a number of roles around the city.

This week, we spoke to Anthony Burton, a baker at Fitzbillies in Cambridge.

Fitzbillies baker Anthony Burton. Picture: Keith Heppell
Fitzbillies baker Anthony Burton. Picture: Keith Heppell

Describe your role for us and what you do on a typical day.

We do start early, between 4.30am and 6am depending on the day, as we have to get the Chelsea buns baked and to Fitzbillies branches before they open at 8am. I don’t actually find that too hard - I’m quite used to it. When I come in, the dough for the Chelseas has already been mixed and proved so I would start by shaping the Chelsea buns. We roll the dough thin, spread it with cinnamon sugar and currants, roll it up like a Swiss roll and chop it into slices. Those go 40 to a tray into the oven. Then when they come out, I spread them with syrup and flip them. After that I look at the orders for the day. Typically, I’d make a couple of batches of cakes, maybe red velvet and carrot and then some brownies, muffins or Bakewell tart - whatever the shops need. I finish by early afternoon so then I get the rest of the day to myself.

When did you join / how long have you been doing this?

I joined last September, so just over a year ago. Fitzbillies is always changing. We develop new products all the time and I’ve recently taken on more responsibility for training other team members.

How did you get to where you are now?

I started working in a care home kitchen when I was 15 and trained as a chef through a workplace apprenticeship, eventually becoming head chef. I always had a really keen interest in baking and made lots of cakes for the residents. I was looking to move to Cambridge and I saw the job at Fitzbillies advertised, so I just went for it. If you don’t go for it you are never going to know.

What do you love about what you do?

No two days are the same. You are always doing something different every day. We make a huge range of products: sponge cakes, macarons, sourdough bread, croissants. Sometimes we are making and decorating big cakes for celebrations. And I love developing new products. This Valentine’s day I did a raspberry cheesecake brownie that sold really well.

Fitzbillies’ famous Chelsea buns
Fitzbillies’ famous Chelsea buns

Tell us about the toughest part of your job - and the most fun.

The most fun was getting involved with Cambridge Pride. I worked with the organisers and we developed a rainbow cupcake to sell in aid of the Kite Trust charity.

Toughest? Of course not everything goes right every day, but we have a strong team and we pull together to get things done.

Do you remember how you felt on your first day / when you started out?

I was excited but nervous. I met my new colleagues and we had a laugh and actually I settled in really quickly.

What advice would you give to someone looking to work in your industry?

It’s important to love what you do and I’m really passionate about baking. If it’s what you love, just go for it. It’s that enthusiasm that helps you drive yourself on. What I think about when I bake is that whoever eats this is going to really enjoy it. That’s what really matters.

What’s great about working in Cambridge?

There’s a lot of history in Cambridge and that’s reflected in Fitzbillies. It’s big enough to be interesting but small enough to feel homely.

What do you aim to do in the future?

I’d like to help develop our range of cakes and bring in new flavours. I’m always developing the skills I have and learning new skills. I’m starting to take more responsibility for training others so I’m developing my management and people skills.

Don’t miss our jobs fair

Interested in exploring new career opportunities – or attracting new staff? Cambridge BID and the Cambridge Independent are joining forces to host a job fair in Cambridge on October 4, 2022.

Featuring all sectors within the Cambridge BID area – from hospitality and retail, to office-based jobs and beyond – the job fair will take place at the beautifully renovated Downing Place United Reformed Church, from 10am-3pm. It’s free for visitors.

Questions? Email natalie.cargill@cambridgebid.co.uk.

More from our series

You can also read about A day in the life of... John Lewis’ deputy branch manager Charlotte Williams and Graduate Cambridge hotel general manager Chris Douglas.

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