Oxford’s healthy food destination, Modern Baker, takes its commitment to good provenance very seriously. Nestled in the heart of the city’s leafy Summertown, the business was set up by owner Melissa Sharp after she was faced with a serious illness and forced to confront the connection between stress, nutrition and chronic ill-health.

It was her affinity with wellbeing that led to the opening of the bijou 12-seat café, bakery and shop in May 2014. By sourcing the very finest in taste, quality and nutrition, nothing refined ever enters the Modern Baker premises. An organic menu consists of freshly baked sourdough breads, gluten-free sandwiches, homemade granola, and pastries such as sourdough cinnamon buns. Vegan cakes are also on offer, including a quinoa and lucuma variety topped with a velvety cashew icing – delectable flavours and a clear indicator that eating healthy need never mean compromising on taste. 

Modern Baker is now preparing to launch its first online shop, due to go live early this summer. Offerings will include its homemade fare, baked by in-house artisan baker Lindsay Stark, and a curated selection of everyday essential goods. 

The space, conceived by James Wyman Architects, was a former children’s shoe shop. Its transformation presents a tastefully decorated interior that would sit comfortably at home in many Nordic cities, while still remaining true to its Oxfordshire roots. Contemporary Vitsœ shelving is stocked with handpicked nutritious goods, from Swedish natural skincare brand L:A Bruket to London’s Wunderworkshop turmeric mylk, making Modern Baker a compact and more intimate Whole Foods (of sorts). Scandinavian touches continue throughout, as Normann stools are dotted along the whitewashed interior, while a sleek bench designed by the architects lines the wall, making maximum use of the compact space.

It seems that Modern Baker is confidently leading the way in a healthy baking revolution – well on its way to acquiring star status, and deservedly so.