Rising to the Occasion: Jason’s Sourdough – A Modern Twist on Traditional Baking

In Leicestershire, Jason Geary is kneading new life into his family’s century-old bakery with the launch of Jason’s Sourdough, blending age-old methods with modern flair. This story of passion, innovation and tradition offers a slice of inspiration for the local food and drink industry.

In the heart of Leicestershire, a remarkable evolution is transforming a traditional family baking business led by Jason Geary, a fourth-generation baker at Geary’s Bakery.

Established in 1906, Geary’s has long been a staple in the local community, but in 2021, Jason introduced a new chapter with the launch of Jason’s Sourdough.

Jason’s Sourdough isn’t just another factory-made bread on the supermarket shelf. It’s genuine sourdough made using only four essential ingredients: flour, water, salt and a 40-year-old sourdough starter that gets fed every day. Major supermarkets, including Tesco, Waitrose, Morrisons and Booths now stock it.

Baker Jason Geary (right) with Great Food Club founder Matt

Jason says: “We’ve always used sourdough culture and all-natural ingredients, but we tapped into the idea that people want genuine sourdough, but not everyone can go to a specialist bakery.”

Jason’s vision is to bring traditional sourdough to as broad an audience as possible.

Growing up at Geary’s Bakery was a unique and formative experience for Jason, deeply ingraining in him a passion for the family business and the art of baking. His childhood home was literally the bakery. This proximity meant that Jason’s life intertwined with the rhythms of baking from a very young age.

Jason recalls: “Our family house was the bakery… I used to go to school every day, drop my bags off, get my whites on, and just go into the bakery with the guys. From day one, it was in the blood. I just loved it.”

Geary’s Bakery, High Street, Ratby, 1910

This immersive experience fuelled his fascination with the process of making bread – mixing, kneading, shaping, and baking. To him, it was a magical process, a blend of science and art.

Jason’s Sourdough is the latest result of this passion for baking. The founder says: “We wanted to take Geary’s forward and embrace modern marketing and brand-building techniques without losing sight of our core values. To achieve this, we wanted to create a new brand, so we went down to London and spoke to a marketing company. It was all quite new for me.”

Learning curve or not, the move started a process that’s propelled Jason’s Sourdough into the national spotlight. The brand has soared despite the challenges, such as launching just a week before the Covid lockdown. Jason’s pragmatic approach, leveraging social media and focusing on authentic storytelling, has resonated well with consumers.

“It was about bringing the brand to life and telling the story of what it was,” he says.

Looking ahead, Jason is optimistic about the future, with plans to expand the range of products under the Jason’s Sourdough brand. This evolution reflects a commitment to quality, community, and the enduring appeal of artisanal bread.

Jason’s Sourdough is a beautiful local success story – rooted in Leicestershire but now enjoyed across Britain. We hope it can inspire other small family food and drink businesses looking to evolve, thrive and push forward. As Jason Geary leads Geary’s Bakery into its next century, the legacy of quality, innovation and community continues to rise, much like the sourdough that has captured the nation’s heart.

The author:

Matt lives in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire. He is passionate about the independent food & drink sector and founded Great Food Club in 2010 after being inspired by local producers near his home town.