Rise for the Occasion - To The Rise Bakery

Brand new sourdough bakery in Eastbourne ‘To The Rise’ tells us about its journey to opening its first store with the support of family, friends, and business support organisation Locate East Sussex. With help finding their perfect location and grant funding from East Sussex County Councils ‘East Sussex Invest’ fund, they have now opened their doors to the public.

“It’s been a challenge, but it has all led to us finding the ideal location for us, everything about it is perfect”

​​​​​​​Josie PollardCo-Owner
To The Rise Bakery

To The Rise Bakery

Case Study
Food and Drink

To The Rise Bakery is a female led, 100% sourdough bakery offering bread, sweet buns, and pizza Thursday-Sunday from their prominent Terminus Road location in Eastbourne. Using carefully sourced, organic and local ingredients, they pride themselves on bringing European style breads and pastry to East Sussex. A stone’s throw from both the town and beach, whether you are shopping or sunbathing, you can now enjoy a coffee and a treat from this friendly, forward thinking set of entrepreneurs.

Back in 2019 sisters Lauren, Josie and Morgan Pollard had all gone off in different directions, exploring their own opportunities, Lauren was training to be a chef, Morgan was completing a degree in textile design and Josie had moved to Germany to fulfil a role as a researcher. Lauren then floated the idea of opening a café/bakery which over time turned in a family adventure.

Starting out amidst a global pandemic, They began baking out of their family home and providing home delivered orders to both trade and the public. Something that makes To The Rise unique, is it is one of the few bakeries in East Sussex which provides 100% sourdough bread. It is an artisanal and historical process of making bread that requires a skilled process of fermentation and resting. It makes its loaves in 48 hours and for 8 of those hours the dough is kept in the cold. This is important as it creates a special sweet and chewy crust.

Building up a following via social media, in particular Instagram, and attending some local markets, demand quickly outweighed supply and they started looking for a permanent home. They then reached out to Business Manager Emily Wright at Locate East Sussex for support in finding the perfect location, and to explore funding options that might be available to them. They had their hearts set on Eastbourne, as it was where they had grown up, and felt most at home.

To The Rise Bakery
Emily Wright with Josie Pollard
To The Rise Bakery
To The Rise Bakery

“Emily at Locate East Sussex was the first person we contacted when we started to put together our project. She has been fantastic, really getting to know us and our business and helping us navigate our way through the various funding opportunities available to us. She has also been fantastic moral support, encouraging us not to give up, despite the challenges we were facing. We really valued that”

Josie Pollard, Co-Owner, To The Rise Bakery

Emily helped To The Rise explore several potential locations for their new venture before they settled on a site on the popular and up-and-coming ‘Terminus Road’ in Eastbourne. Nicknamed ‘Food Street’ this area has been primed for regeneration and will shortly be receiving large investment through the governments ‘Levelling Up Fund’ turning it into a prime location for hospitality businesses.

“It’s been a challenge, but it has all led to us finding the ideal location for us, everything about it is perfect”
Josie Pollard, Co-Owner, To The Rise Bakery

Needing some new equipment and some alterations to the space in order to make it work for them, Emily then assisted ‘To The Rise Bakery’ with ascertaining a business grant from the East Sussex Invest Fund. East Sussex Invest (ESI7) is an East Sussex County Council and Regional Growth Fund (RGF) programme delivered in partnership with Locate East Sussex offering grants and loans for capital investment to stimulate business growth and job creation in the county.

Receiving a £10,000 non-repayable grant ‘To The Rise’ was able to use this investment to upgrade their oven from one that could bake 9 loaves at a time, to a professional-grade machine that could bake 60, improving their productivity by over 500%! They also invested in new fridges and used their thriftiness to acquire other important machinery using local connections and Facebook Marketplace, buying items as they prepared the shop for opening.

Receiving the keys to their new premises in December, it was all hands on deck to get their premises ready for opening in March 2022. Completing the majority of the work themselves, each member of the family used their unique strengths to form a powerhouse team ready to take on any challenge that faces them. Officially opening its doors on 19th March 2022, ‘To The Rise Bakery’ has had an influx of visitors, all excited to see what this new business has to offer.

“Since we opened its been so busy, we had queues outside the door and even sold out of bread on several occasions. The community has been so supportive, getting behind us all, and all the other businesses on the street have been so welcoming. It’s been such a journey, but it’s been worth every second”

Josie Pollard, Co-Owner, To The Rise Bakery

Looking to the future, the possibilities for this artisan bakery are endless. Excited for the future, To The Rise are keen to explore a variety of options for future development, including outdoor dining, pizza parties, and offering alcoholic drinks options. They are also in the process of recruiting for an apprentice to join the team, that can learn and grow with them as they continue to develop. Already building relationships with other local producers, we can’t wait to see where they take the business next.
To The Rise Bakery is open Thursday – Sunday 7am-3pm at 36 Terminus Road, Eastbourne, or you can visit their website www.totherisebakery.com. Pay them a visit to try out their delicious bakes, or purchase from their range of branded merchandise.

“From when I first met with them, Josie, Lauren and Morgan always knew exactly what they wanted to do and what was required of them to get there. They are always so positive, and have been so receptive to the advice both myself and Business Manager Jim Fletcher have provided them. It’s been a fantastic business to be involved with, and they are an inspiration to other young entrepreneurs in the county.”

Emily Wright, Business Manager, Locate East Sussex

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