It started with stotties

The Big River journey began over 10 years ago. From a purely volunteer organisation selling bread at local markets, to the opening of Big River Bakery in Shieldfield in 2019, we are now proud to be opening our new hub in the heart of the East End of Newcastle.

The iconic stottie cake is a symbol of the North East and represents the resilience and hard work of the people who live there. We want to use the heritage not only to explore the past – but use as a power for good to empower future generations.

A concept built on kindness

Kindness is at the heart of everything we do, and we want everyone to feel welcome at the Big River Hub. We have a vision to help make the North East a more equitable place to live – a place where good food is available and affordable to all. We also want to empower people by supporting them into work and removing barriers to employment.

Our vision

From keeping the price of our products affordable for all, to helping people into employment and teaching kids to bake – we are deeply embedded within the communities we serve. With our new hub – we hope we can do more…

Serving our local community and bringing positivity to the North East

We need to build resilient communities for the future. The hub will provide opportunities and activities for people of all ages.

Making good food available and affordable for all

Good food helps us learn and thrive. It should be affordable for everyone – this is at the heart of the Big River Hub.

Removing barriers to employment and helping people into work

Getting the right support to build confidence and skills is essential in removing barriers to employment. We have over 5 years of experience supporting people into employment.

Inspiring the next generation through the joy of baking

It's important to teach the younger generation where their food comes from and how to bake. We work with schools and local children's organisations to make this possible.

Learn more about Big River Bakery

Our little bakery in Shielfield is our original and  flagship  and has become quite a celebrity –  from TV & Radio appearances – Tabloid Newspaper articles to visits from well-known faces and supporters from across the globe –

You can visit the Big River Bakery in Shieldfield website here.

Meet our team

We have quite a team – and are proud to employ a number of people with learning difficulties or are neuro diverse. Some of our team are quite shy – but we hope to showcase our full team here.

Here are the founders/directors – Andy & Gail (partners in life and business!)

Andy Haddon

Founder / Director

Andy has had quite a journey – from working for large consultancy firms – Logistics (working in Germany / China) – losing his soul to big companies – before finally finding a path to make a difference in the world – starting 'One loaf at a Time!' Sometimes referred to as the Wey Aye man! If you've ever met him – you'll know why!

Gail Lawler

Director / Community Engagement

Gail was a Civil Servant for 33 years – taking a career break to look after her mum with Alzheimer's. She has been a Director since the beginning (of time!!) and has numerous (too many to mention) roles in the Bakery & Hub. She is also the creator and author of our Scotty the Stottie books – raising money for our children's projects.