Fergus and Sharmin Jackson are the husband and wife team behind Brick House, a sourdough bakery and cafe with two locations in South East London.
Fergus and Sharmin met whilst working in advertising but always dreamed of quitting the rat race and starting their own family food business. In April 2011, Fergus’s passion for baking bread became the catalyst to leave their jobs and travel to San Francisco where he enrolled in the world renowned SFBI (San Francisco Baking Institute), whilst Sharmin worked front of house at some of the city’s best bakeries.
After graduating six months later, they travelled across the US from San Francisco to New York, absorbing the country’s bread and food culture, returning to London hugely inspired at the beginning of 2012.
A disused moped garage close to Peckham Rye common became Brick House’s first home in April 2012. The first sourdough loaves emerged crackling from the oven in June, with Fergus doing everything from mixing and baking to cleaning and deliveries. By the end of the year, as the wholesale business grew, they hired their first baker, growing to a team of four a year later. The bakery’s intention was always to ‘do one thing well’ well, as opposed to making lots of products. This quality, consistency and attention to detail quickly gained fans including Neal’s Yard Dairy, La Fromagerie and a growing number of wholesale customers.
Since then, the focus has remained the same while the business has grown. They shifted operations to East Dulwich in 2015, opening a neighbourhood café alongside the bakery and in 2017 they opened a second site in Peckham Rye station.
Fergus and Sharmin’s first book SOURDOUGH IN A DAY AND OTHER STORIES – Good Bread and Good Food at home, the Brick House Way – will be published by Kyle Books in February 2021 to coincide with Real Bread Week.
Fergus and Sharmin live in London with their young son, Ludo.