This Is Why Paul Hollywood Closed His Bread Company

Paul Hollywood sitting and smiling
Paul Hollywood sitting and smiling - Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

Longstanding judge on the Netflix series, "The Great British Bake Off" (aka "The Great British Baking Show"), and U.S. version, "The Great American Baking Show," and star of a few of his own TV series, British bread and cake expert Paul Hollywood is about as Hollywood as it gets in the food world. Hollywood is definitely a celebrity baker. Only, it seems that, with the closing of his company, The Paul Hollywood Artisan Bread Company, he allowed the celebrity part of his job to overtake the actual baker part.

Hollywood comes from a very long line of bakers — it was his father who convinced him to join the family business, after which he went on to work as head baker at some of the most exclusive hotels in England. In time, Hollywood built himself a reputation as one of the best bakers in the country. He opened his artisan bread company in Kent, England, in 2007 after studying traditional bread baking in Cyprus, Jordan, and Egypt, but it closed just seven years later in 2014. Accumulating debts of over £60,000 (about $76,000), Hollywood reportedly said the company had become a huge headache and massive problem, which he suggested was because he wasn't there enough.

It seems the money issues were a side effect of a greater problem: Hollywood's television commitments prevented him from running the business. After all, how could a bakery named after Paul Hollywood function successfully without the man there in charge? Unfortunate, yes. But maybe it was also inevitable.

Read more: 23 Whole Foods Baked Goods, Ranked

What Went Wrong For Paul Hollywood's Artisan Bread Company?

Paul Hollywood on Great British Bake Off holding a loaf
Paul Hollywood on Great British Bake Off holding a loaf - Comic Relief/Getty Images

The Paul Hollywood Artisan Bread Company supplied bread to Harrods and Waitrose before it closed. One loaf, which Hollywood is said to have nicknamed the Rolls Royce of bread was made with grade A flour and imported French cheese. It sold for £15 (about $19), making it the U.K.'s most expensive bread at the time. An almond sourdough sold for a similar price. Could those prices give insight into why the Hollywood enterprise failed? Perhaps. But, it wasn't the last of his shortfalls in the bread business. His first bakery in London, Knead Bakery and Coffee, was demolished in 2017. Then, in 2019, two bread products — Paul Hollywood whole and white country loaves — were pulled from Tesco due to lack of demand. His only product that still seems to be on Tesco shelves is a line of ready-to-bake Paul Hollywood rolls, though at last check they weren't available online.

Despite his bread-business shortcomings, Hollywood hasn't slowed down his celebrity commitments. He continues to appear as a TV judge on "The Great American Baking Show" as he has done since it premiered. In 2020, Hollywood also launched his food travelog and published his first book in five years: "BAKE". He was even made an MBE by Princess Anne in 2024 for services to baking and broadcasting -- note, not for running successful bakeries. And, aside from his controversial stance on banana bread not being bread, his star baker status seems unshaken.

Read the original article on Tasting Table