Happy Birthday to us – Loaf is One!

birthdayWell, on this day on in 2009, Loaf was officially incorporated with Companies House as Loaf Social Enterprise Ltd. It’s amazing what can happen in a year, although I had (and still have) grand plans for Loaf, I’m still staggered with what we’ve achieved in a year. In the original plan I was going to continue working part-time with the NHS until April 2011 – this happened a year earlier. I’d like to share with you a few pivotal moments as well as some interesting facts to celebrate this auspicious occasion.

19th June 2009 – Tom starts as a food blog

13th August  2009 – A board of directors is formed, sworn in, and the company is officially registered with Companies House as a social enterprise (company limited by guarantee)

16th October 2009 – Tom is featured in The Birmingham Post in an excellent feature by Richard McComb. This coverage kicks off a whole load more press coverage in the coming year.

14th November 2009 – Tom attends ‘The Rise of Real Bread’ conference in Oxford, has one too many beers with Dan and Johanna McTiernan from the Handmade Bakery, and plots his exit from the NHS on the train home.

18th November 2009 – Loaf Cookery School launches with the first Handmade Pasta course.

21st November 2009 – Tom runs the first Bread: Back to basics course, soon to become the most popular course at the cookery school.

22nd January 2010 – Tom starts the Community Supported Bakery supplying sourdough bread to 10 subscribers and Capeling & Co.

3rd February 2010 – Loaf provide bread for the Soil Association’s annual conference. Tom gets to meet his bread hero Andrew Whitley, who approves of the bread – phew!

May 2010 – Tom appears in the Virgin Trains onboard magazine and cookery school bookings go through the roof!

3rd July 201o – Loaf launch the third strand of their business – the mobile wood-fired pizza oven at the CoCoMAD festival in Cotteridge park – Tom and team make 180 sourdough pizza’s in six and a half hours.

27th July 2010 – Loaf are involved in launching Stirchley Community Market, a one-of-a-kind local food and crafts market in Birmingham. 36 loaves of bread sell out in 30 mins.

4th August 2010Tom appears in the Guardian Society as part of a discussion on the inaugural Stirchley Market and the role of local food in community building.

August 2010 – Tom’s bread courses are so popular that they sell out for the rest of 2010.

Since January 2010 Tom has made approximately 1500 loaves of artisan bread for the community bakery. These were all hand kneaded and baked at home.

Since November 2009, 153 people have attended courses at Loaf Cookery School.

Phew, what a year, thanks to everyone for helping us make it work this year, we couldn’t have done it without all our loyal bread buyers, course students, and of course, Richard Mccomb. A massive thank you as well to my amazing wife Jane Baker of Greensnapper Photography for being so supportive and for allowing her home to be turned into Loaf HQ. Here’s to a second successful year!

6 thoughts on “Happy Birthday to us – Loaf is One!

  1. Breadtastic! That’s an impressive year, happy birthday Loaf!

  2. Well done, Tom. An impressive start, I would say.

  3. well done…an inspiration!!

  4. Thanks Vikki, Russ, Shirley, much appreciated!

  5. Hi Tom, I am mightily impressed with what you have managed to achieve in such a short time. It just shows what enthusiasm is out there for real food, after all those years of highly processed rubbish. I went to Stirchley today in the hope of sampling some of your fab food that I’ve heard so much about but you’d already sold out and left. I’ll try to get there earlier next time. I made some sourdough bread last week but it was not quite cooked in the centre, so I will try again this week and hope for better results. If not, I will be booking onto one of your baking courses next year (if there are any places left).
    Keep up the fab work.

  6. Thanks for the nice comments Sally, sorry to disappoint at Stirchley Market – I had sold all 75 loaves by 5.30pm!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *