From Slipknot to doughnuts... globe-trotting Shefford rocker trades guitar for mixing bowl!
A rocker who shared a stage with Slipknot has traded his guitar for a mixing bowl and launched a lockdown-beating business with his girlfriend.
Now Simon Barker, 36, is cooking up a storm with partner Louise Goss, 30, with a new vegan dessert delivery company.
The pair, who both work as carers, hand make doughnuts, brownies, cakes and other sweet treats from their home on the outskirts of Shefford.
Dee Dee’s Diner is a far cry from Simon’s previous life playing guitar in bands like Funeral Shakes and The Smoking Hearts, supporting international artists such as Gallows and The Misfits.
He even played Australia’s Soundwave Festival in 2012, on the same bill as Limp Bizkit, Marylin Manson and Slipknot.
The guitarist was inspired to follow Louise into the business and was swept up with her passion for baking.
He said: “Baking and music are obviously two very different worlds, but they both have a highly creative element, which I love.
“Ultimately it’s still about making people happy, just using a different way to make it happen.
“If you told me 10 years ago when I was gearing up to play festivals that I’d be launching a baking company I’d have laughed in your face.
“But after years of touring I needed a change of pace and Louise was so passionate about starting this ethical bakery company, I just leapt at the chance.
“It’s her baby really and to be honest I get as much enjoyment from seeing people tuck into our food as when I used to play to thousands of people.”
The pair launched the business – named after their beloved cat – just as lockdown hit and they feared coronavirus could kill demand.
But as lockdown left families unable to go to their favourite restaurants customers flocked to the pair’s webpage and now delivery slots quickly sell out.
And now they hope to expand the business and have even started supplying vegetarian restaurants.
The pair had hoped to tour food and music festivals in their food van, but with the coronavirus lockdown shutting down the nation’s major events they had to rethink their business plan.
And Louise cleverly came up with the idea of a home delivery company that has proved a hit with hundreds of items flying out of the kitchen in their countryside home.
She said: “We are not ones to give up without a fight so once lockdown put the brakes on our food trailer, we were determined to find a way to get our food out there.
“After a few sleepless nights we had the idea of the home delivery service.
“Times are tough for everyone at the moment, and I feel like people need a little treat, now more than ever.
“Now that everyone’s favourite restaurants and cafes are closed, it made sense to bring food directly to people instead, in a safe contact-free way.
“People seem to have really taken to it, whether they’re vegan, want to try something new, or just have a sweet tooth.
“Yes, the food is all 100% vegan, but we make it for everyone to enjoy, and I think that inclusive attitude has led to our success.”
Details of Dee Dee’s Diner can be found at https://www.facebook.com/deedeesvegan/ with the menu updated weekly. They deliver throughout the Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire area.