The Luminary Bakery

August 10, 2021

Rise travels to London to visit The Luminary Bakery.

On 23rd February 2020, we travelled to London to visit Luminary Bakery with funding from Community Learning Exchange to hear more about what they are doing through baking. Luminary Bakery works with women who are facing some kind of social or economic disadvantage through training internships. Their mission is “through training, employment and community - we aim to break cycles of poverty, violence & disadvantage once and for all.” one that is very similar to our own! 

The Luminary Bakery model is very similar to our own - they were created to meet a need that was seen when Alice was working with women who were survivors of domestic violence. We enjoyed a day at one of their information exchange days, where budding social entrepreneurs come together to learn from the experience of Alice Williams, CEO and Founder of Luminary Bakery. Hearing about their experience of starting out small and growing big was really inspiring, especially hearing about them being commissioned to bake brownies for Ben and Jerry’s ice cream! It was a fantastic learning experience for us, and we left buoyant and excited for what the future and impact could be for Rise. 

It was reassuring to know that they had also started small, and that growth had not happened overnight. We spoke about how much hard work it takes to get a social enterprise food business off the ground, and the importance of staying true to your mission and goals. It was great to know that we were on the right track! 

While we were in London, we took the opportunity to visit other social enterprises such as Redemption Roasters who work with people who have come through the criminal justice system, Breadwinners who work with refugees through baking, and E5 Bakehouse. It was so inspiring to hear more about grassroots movements to champion and empower people through food. 

I also took the opportunity to treat myself to a birthday lunch and inspiration exploration at Ottolenghi Islington. What a treat! Yottam Ottolenghi has always been a source of food inspiration for me, and it was amazing to sample the complex flavours that he is so famous for. The shop itself was a feast for the eyes, with delicious treats displayed like jewellery in the window - more inspiration! 

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