Bringing Back Real Food

Introducing: The Loaf Team

The Loaf Team

Loaf currently has eight members of staff, six of whom are also directors. We run Loaf together as a workers’ co-operative.

Rob Drew – Baker and Cookery School Teacher

Rob joined Loaf in September 2014 as a trainee baker having done some voluntary work baking bread at a community cafe in Sheffield where he got the sourdough bug. As well as baking you’ll find Rob making lunches, serving you in the shop, and teaching occasional bread courses too. Also likes Taylor Swift (a lot). Good at reaching things from high shelves.

Sarah Frost – Baker

Sarah joined the Loaf team in 2013. Bringing with her a wealth of professional cake baking experience, she has a reputation that goes before her having established Frost and Snow, a successful city centre bakery which trained and employed people who had experienced homelessness. Sarah now bakes outstanding bread (and cakes) for Loaf full-time. Also likes cats and beards. Good at reaching things from low shelves.

Nancy Langfeldt – Administrator and Baker

Nancy has been with Loaf since the early days when the bakery and cookery school ran from Tom’s home in nearby Cotteridge. If you’ve ever booked on a cookery school course you will have been in touch with Nancy. She also keeps our books in order, and works the occasional shift in the bakery too! Nancy also works for the amazing Birmingham Bike Foundry also on Pershore Road. Also likes making clothes. Good at making sure Loaf doesn’t fall apart.

Jordan Isherwood – Administrator

Jordan joined Loaf in March 2014 as a shop and cookery school assistant, and along with Martha immediately brought lots of joy to the shop! After a brief sabbatical to run a successful Birmingham floristry business as maternity cover, has returned to Loaf to help Nancy keep the books (and the team!) in order. Jordan also has her own floristry business Isherwood & Co. Also likes botanical cocktails, especially involving gin. Good at making Loaf look pretty.

Martha Needham – Shop and Cookery School Assistant, Baker

Martha joined Loaf in March 2014 as a shop and cookery school assistant, and along with Jordan immediately brought lots of joy to the shop! She quickly demonstrated that she can turn her hand to whatever! So she now regularly fills in on bakery shifts when bakers are on holiday, as well as making lunches, baking cakes, co-teaching courses, literally whatever. Also likes wine and burgers and being a ‘cool’ mom. Good at always being ridiculously happy.

Molly Adams – Shop and Cookery School Assistant, Baker

Molly joined the team in July 2015 to cover Jordan’s sabbatical and quickly became an integral part of the team so we couldn’t help but keep her on when Jordan returned. You’ll find Molly in the shop, helping out on courses – and baking! She’s also responsible for various bits of illustration work around the place like our tote bags and cookery school window display signs. Also likes Destiny’s Child. Good at drawing things.

Kerry Leslie – Marketing & Design

Kerry began freelancing for Loaf in 2011 and has created various work for us over the years. She is involved in lots of Stirchley-related stuff. She helped set up Friends of Stirchley Library and is a co-organiser of Stirchley Community Market and helps on the Loaf stall whilst she’s there. Kerry joined Loaf officially in August 2017 and is going to be overseeing all design and marketing, working with Molly’s brilliant illustrations.

Alice Hansen – Baker

Alice worked as a chef in London for several years where she particularly liked all things dessert, cake and bread! She is currently on a Masters Degree in Acting at Birmingham Conservatoire and works part-time at Loaf. You will find her in the bakery, helping out in the shop or on one of Loaf’s cookery courses. Good at making (and eating) cake.

Tom Baker – Loaf founder & guest-tutor.

Tom is a passionate home cook and sourdough baker and began teaching forgotten food skills from his home kitchen in 2009. Formerly an NHS nutritionist, Tom started Loaf as a community-supported bakery after being inspired by the Real Bread conference. Tom began baking for neighbours once a week using a wood-fired oven in the back garden. Tom is currently travelling across the UK in the BakerBus with his wife Jane and son Reuben, but returns to guest-tutor in the cookery school!

Fougasse before baking

Guest Cookery School teachers

Loaf has a number of inspirational guest cookery school teachers, complementing the bread-baking at Loaf’s core, right through to butchery and oven building.

Lap-fai Lee (Fish and Shellfish courses, Pork Butchery, Knife Skills, Flavour Geography), Gordon Stovin (Bread), Rachel Carter (Preserving), Steve Rossiter (Butchery), and Lizzy Bean (of Magic Bean Bakery, earth oven building).

We’re also thankful to a range of freelance and volunteer professionals for their time, skills and support. Here’s a few of their websites: Jacob Masters – website: www.gabba.net •  Jane Baker – Photographer: www.jane-baker.com • Paul McHale – Film Maker:  www.olddeadeye.com • Walter Newton – Illustrator:  www.walternewton.com