Cristina Wood used to work a high-stress job as an account manager for an oil company (Picture: JPI Media / SWNS.COM)

Like so many of us, mum-of-one Cristina Wood started baking bread in lockdown.

Unlike most of us, she decided to turn that simple joy into a career.

Cristina grew up in Romania, where her grandma baked bread in outdoor ovens, and was inspired to explore this family passion when lockdown hit.

Overwhelmed by the demands of her high-powered job in the oil industry, the mum sought solace in the pleasures of baking.

When her parents visited and the family enjoyed a 24-hour baking session, doing everything by hand, that was a major turning point: Cristina realised she no longer wanted to give up her life for a job that was leaving her a stressed out mess, and that she instead wanted to commit to her hobby full-time.

So, she quit her job and began experimenting with recipes.

Cristina said: ‘I was working stupid hours, barely stopping and enjoying life.

She started baking in lockdown, and fell in love with the process (Picture: JPI Media / SWNS.COM)

Soon enough, the mum quit her job to commit to bread-making full-time (Picture: JPI Media / SWNS.COM)

‘I used to love my job but my heart wasn’t in it anymore.

‘Baking made me really happy.’

Now, after months of hard graft, Cristina has opened the Naked Sourdough Bakery & Café in Jedburgh – with queues round the door for her delicious creations – including bread flavoured with brie and cranberry, black sesame with pistachio and charcoal, and caramelised onion with cheddar.

The mum’s life is now miles away from her previous role as an account manager for an oil and gas company.

In her old job, she was able to travel abroad and was lucky to be able to work from home, but her enthusiasm gradually wore out.

After months of hard graft and experimenting with flavours, Cristina has opened her very own bakery (Picture: JPI Media / SWNS.COM)

Now, she still works long hours, having to get up at 2am to start her bread prep. But she loves baking so much she doesn’t mind a bit.

In fact, her passion for bread is so strong, she even talks to her loaves.

She joked: ‘They don’t say anything back right now but hopefully they will learn a few words.’

‘The hours are long I get up at 2am, but when I take my loaves out of the oven I’m very happy,’ Cristina added.

She is so happy with her new lifestyle that she talks to her loaves (Picture: JPI Media / SWNS.COM)

‘There have been moments in my life when I need to pinch myself because it doesn’t feel real, and that was one of them.

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‘I feel overwhelmed and incredibly grateful that this is happening it is so surreal I cannot even put it into words.

‘This is my little baby and the sense of joy at what I make is the best feeling in the world.

‘I’m really passionate about baking and what I serve in the cafe, so I hope people will continue to enjoy what I create.’

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