The furlough scheme allowed staff who couldn’t be viably employed to undertake training so, with generous support from Co-ops UK’s The Hive, three of us spent 8 weeks learning how to evaluate Loaf, set a full budget and write a new business plan for the Covid era.
Because we see our customers as more than simply a process of turning bread into wages, we wanted to share some of these plans with you, because we literally can’t do this without you!
Bread will always be in stock. If you come in five minutes to closing we will have something to sell you.
More lunches for the home workers. Lunches are proving more popular and we’re looking to extend our range.
More sweets and cakes. Plenty of new goodies are coming out of the bakery and we’re developing a range of vegan cakes.
Chances to be involved in building the future of Loaf!It takes a village, etc!
In a bit more detail
It’s become very clear that it’s not going to be possible to safely run our cookery school to the high standards we and you demand during this pandemic. But teaching skills is a core part of Loaf and we are determined to bring it back when we’re able.
In the spring, assuming restrictions allow, we plan to run small classes aimed at clearing existing bookings and vouchers* and for single households. The, over the summer, we will start researching and developing new courses and new ways to teach. Some of this will involve trial classes will small groups which we will invite you to help us with.
The plan is that when we move into the new building in 2022 Loaf’s cookery school will be bigger and better than ever!
* And a huge thanks to those who have been able to be patient – we are so appreciative!
Because the cookery school won’t be bringing in significant income next year we need to significantly increase bakery turnover.
Since September we have been baking more, so that whenever someone comes into the shop they can get a load of bread. In the New Year we will be purchasing a new oven, something we weren’t intending to do until we moved into the new building. This will increase our production by about a third, as well as insuring us against breakdowns.
Significantly more bread is great, but we also need significantly more customers. Having a very loyal customer base is fantastic and totally kept us alive through lockdown, but it has meant we haven’t actively gone out and told people about what we offer for a long time. Over the next few months we’ll be doing leaflet drops and developing our social media presences. As a business that grew through word of mouth this is a new area for us, one we’re embracing with cautious optimism.