A family bakery
Mayse is a family bakery in every sense. I run it with my father and his wife, as well as my lovely husband who is a former head chef at an exciting London eatery. We are all in this together, and I can’t believe Mayse is now two years old!
My father and mother are both musicians, my aunt is an artist, and I studied art at university in London. Our family is full of creative flair and passion for all things beautiful! My mother is an amazing cook, always producing creative and flavour packed dishes during my childhood, which lead me to experiment with unique cooking too. As a teen, food became my life and now I’m fully devoted to culinary art.
We come from Latvia, and my father moved to Hong Kong in 2008 after he fell madly in love with the city. But we haven’t forgotten our traditions, and in Latvia nothing is taken more seriously than bread!
When my father started living in Hong Kong, he tried eating local bread but gave up very quickly after experiencing allergic reactions. I gave him a sourdough book for Christmas, which sparked his new hobby of baking bread for family and friends. The bread was a hit and we knew we needed to do something in Hong Kong, just the two of us. Thus, we opened Mayse!
We are so happy with how far we have come, and have never doubted the decision to embrace an often stigmatised food: bread.
Bread making has been around for 8,000 years, with everyone across the globe eating it on an almost daily basis. Suddenly, in the last few years, there’s been a shocking rise in gluten intolerance.
Why have so many people become gluten intolerant?
Most of the bread we eat today is full of chemicals and additives. In the past 50 years, dry yeast or commercial yeast has become very common as an easy tool to make bread rise faster so businesses can save money, time, resources and generate extra profit.
But this just isn’t healthy, it is artificially made with encapsulated bacteria that can survive high heat. These ‘bad bacteria’ survive the oven temperature, and once they are in your digestive system and blood stream, they release a type of poison. Serious issues! And maybe this is one of the causes to why my father was suddenly intolerant to bread after leaving Latvia.
The good news! You can improve your gut health with fermentation. During this process, live good bacteria, minerals and vitamins are generated. Sourdough, for example, is teeming with bugs—some 50 million yeasts and 5 billion lactobacilli bacteria in every teaspoon of starter dough. We have customers coming in and being so thankful that finally their stomach-ache and heartburn have gone, and they can actually digest smoothly again.
It is extremely important to us that we can help people to be able to love bread again and to heal their bodies at the same time. This was our main goal: to produce a handmade, chemical free, cruelty free, healthy, and most importantly, tasty bread.
To clarify, I am not referring to coeliac disease, as this is a completely different issue. I also know a few people who can’t even tolerate our pure rye sourdough, due to high levels of allergy.
What are the key differences between your bread and commercial products?
The vital difference is that our bread is made in a long fermentation process; and takes around two days to produce. The longer it ferments, the more good bacteria is produced, as well as more minerals and vitamins. With commercial yeast, there is no goodness to develop; it is just empty. All our products are natural, with no preservatives. Each loaf is hand-shaped, and each ingredient is hand-picked for our bakery.
What are some of the digestive and health benefits?
Sourdough contains vitamins B1-B6, B12, folate, Vitamin E, selenium, iron, manganese, calcium, zinc and potassium.
It creates better blood glucose regulation and it aids in breakdown of gluten.
Where do you source your ingredients?
We source our ingredients from around the world, including flour from Japan, France and Germany, virgin olive oil from Greece, and Himalayan salt from India. I wish that all of these ingredients could be locally sourced, but unfortunately it is not possible. We are hoping soon to get our heritage rye flour from Latvia.
What’s next for Mayse?
We have big plans, hopefully to open more bakery outlets, as we are located quite far out, but our bread enthusiasts will still travel a long way to get our bread anyway. We have so many loyal customers, and we are grateful for every single one of them. We are happy for every comment made and all the photos shared of our bread. We are living our dream, we are creating healthy products that are made with passion in a city we love.