Small producers: Popina Bakery

I sometimes get the feeling that every producer I write about started with a career that had nothing to do with food. This is the case with Isadora Popovic, who now runs a bakery in London, making the most delicious tarts and biscuits. Originally, she came from Serbia to study art at Goldsmiths College. It seems a big jump, but she says: ‘I find cooking very like painting. You put the tastes together like applying colours. And there’s a wonderful range of tastes.’

Others obviously agree, as she has just won two golds in the Great Taste Awards, one for a tart made of butternut squash and Grana Padano cheese, the other for a wild mushroom tart, both with olive oil and spelt pastry which, she says, is lighter than the normal kind. Her sweet tarts include chocolate, pear and hazelnut as well as quince and blackberry. Her bakery also makes biscuits for other firms, most notably the Highgrove organic range which is on sale at The Prince of Wales’s estate shop at Highgrove.

This is rather neat as Miss Popovic got started in the bakery business with a grant from the Prince’s Trust. She’s a natural-born cook with no cooks in her background. ‘But in Serbia, my mother would cook everything and my grandmother made amazing cakes. All autumn, we would make pickles, preserves and jams, and that’s how you develop a love for food.’

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