On a brisk weekday morning, as Glasgow’s Southside slowly comes to life with the hustle and bustle of dog walkers, coffee drinkers and rush-hour commuters, the owners of Jeju Baked Goods have already been up for hours.

It’s five weeks since husband and wife duo Ameena and Kamal Ijiji first opened the doors to their vibrant orange shop on Victoria Road, the very first brick-and-mortar home for a business established in 2017.

Despite the 4am starts and late finishes, the novelty of finally having a space to call their own is showing no signs of wearing off.

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“We originally started looking for premises in 2020, just before the world went upside down,” Mrs Ijiji said.

“There were a few places that looked perfect but didn't work out in the end.

“It was frustrating, but I believe you have to have faith in the bigger plan.

"Everything happened very quickly after agreeing to view this property and before we knew it, we had signed the lease."

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A selection of plump croissants, golden brown and bursting with thin layers of pastry sit alongside iced cinnamon buns on the counter at Jeju, catching the eye of passersby in search of a mid-morning sugar spike.

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It’s clear to see that a deft pair of hands have prepared these sweet treats, and yet it’s a simpler bake that first sparked Mrs Ijiji's love for her craft and later helped her to process a devastating loss.

“Back in 2016, I went to Nottinghamshire to study at the School of Artisan Food," she said.

“I originally thought that I was going to be more into baking cakes and sweet things, but then I fell in love with the skill and science behind making bread.

“I started my course in September of that year, but unfortunately in December my younger sister, Khodeja, who was profoundly disabled, passed away very suddenly.

“We were carers for her throughout her whole life, and it was a hugely traumatic time for the whole family.”

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There’s an unmistakable pride in Mrs Ijiji’s voice as she speaks of her sister, whose legacy lives on each day at the bakery.

“She was just amazing,” Mrs Ijiji said, "like a ray of sunshine that brought so much joy and unconditional love to everyone.

“Her name was Khodeja Nur, but within our family, she was nicknamed Jeju.

“We want to try and give people the same feeling of happiness she brought to us through our food, and make them feel at home in a place that they are loved too.”

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Although Mrs Ijiji initially considered giving up on her studies following the death of her sister, time spent kneading, shaping and baking dough proved to be a welcome form of catharsis.

Upon gaining her diploma she wasted no time in launching Jeju Baked Goods as a bespoke order service and signing up for local farmers markets.

However, securing their own site has always been the end goal.

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“Right from the start, I wanted a proper premises where people could sit, exchange ideas and enjoy themselves,” she said.

“I also love teaching and hope to have a space that will help inspire others to make their own bread.

“My main focus is always on people.

“I adore making connections, and food is such a wonderful way of doing that.

“If you have something in front of you that looks, smells and tastes great, it’s a lovely way to start a conversation.

“It’s a lot of hard work and long hours, but everyone has been really enthusiastic so far and we love seeing them enjoy our food.”

Anticipating a busy holiday season ahead, Mr and Mrs Ijiji are now hard at work developing a new selection of festive specials as they settle into the neighbourhood.

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With her sister's name proudly painted above the doorway, Mrs Ijiji said: “Everybody goes through difficulties in their life and grief will always be there, even though people don’t really like to talk about it.

“Jeju was a miracle and a huge blessing for us.

“Just hearing the name at the bakery is so wonderful, and always puts a smile on my face.”

Jeju Baked Goods is located at 393 Victoria Road in Glasgow.

Find them on social media here.