We’re looking for new local suppliers

We’ve always done well with a number of local producers and suppliers, from Cuffufle‘s jams and chutneys to Pip’s hot sauces, and we’re now actively looking for more for the bakery shop 

We have three broad criteria:

  • Local businesses. Stirchley is the gold standard, of course! But West Midlands based in great. 
  • Bread-related. We sell bread and bread-making equipment, so we’re looking for products that complement. Spreads and sauces are obvious winners and coffee always sells well. What else might people who are buying lovely bread also need?
  • Stuff we can use. One of the founding principles of Loaf is you can do what we do with the tools and ingredients we use. Everything we sell in the shop is or could be used in the bakery, cookery school or for preparing lunches. Usually we source this from Suma wholesale, but it’s be lovely to get it locally. 

Beyond that, products should obviously be packaged professionally for retail and according to food hygiene standards. They should ideally have a long shelf life, though we are open to selling perishable items if it’s worth it. 

Terms are figured out to mutual benefit, so if you’re producing something that fits some, if not all, of our criteria, please get in touch with Pete at info@loafonline.co.uk

We’re also going to be actively looking at places like Stirchley Community Market and always welcome tips from our customers. What would you like us to sell? 

Coming up at Loaf – a Pop Up with Lap-Fai Lee and our closed week

Here’s what you can look forward to over the next couple of weeks at Loaf. First up, next week Lap-fai Lee is back in the kitchen, bringing you our #TEAMRICE pop up on Thursday 23rd August. Doors open at 6.30pm and it’s first come, first served. It’s eat in or take away and we’ll do our best to throw a good queue party for you all. Here is the menu – Kerry’s final design before she finished at the end of July, featuring Molly’s illustrations.

The following week, Loaf will be closed for annual maintenance from 28th – 31st August. Don’t worry, we’ll make plenty of bread on the Saturdays  so you can stock up! We will be in the building doing work but don’t be fooled, we won’t be baking. Instead we’ll be tidying, sorting, organising, painting and all the other things on our list of odd jobs.

In the cookery school, August courses are full but there are spaces on several dates in September, including:

Dosa on Tuesday 4th or Thaali on Tuesday 25th both with Haseen from Kings Heath’s Pop Up Dosa.

You can join our Martha for Bread: Back to Basics on Thursday 13th.

Loaf founder Tom Baker is back in town delivering a Sourdough course on Saturday 15th.

Phil will be teaching our ever popular Handmade Pasta course on Tuesday 18th and he’s about to spend a week holidaying in Italy so we’re expecting fresh inspiration when he returns.

Enjoy the rest of the warm weather everyone, see you at #TEAMRICE!




What’s on at Loaf this week?

Hello! Here is the lunch menu for the week ahead:

Tuesday: Tarka daal with sourdough (be)
Wednesday: Roast squash, caramelised onion and blue cheese sourdough pizza (V)//Squash, lentil and walnut salad with focaccia (Be)
Thursday: Chlodnik (cold beetroot soup) or borscht (depending on the weather) with sourdough (V)
Friday: Salt beef on challah with mustard and pickles//Sri Lankan carrot and coconut curry with sourdough
Saturday: Salt beef on challah with mustard and pickles//Veggie sandwich on brioche roll

We had another lovely breakfast and bike ride with our friends at Birmingham Bike Foundry this sunny Sunday just gone – the next one will be on the 9th September. The rest of the week is quieter for us – no courses until next week when we have the following – still spaces on Thai and Sweet Breads and Viennoiserie, follow the links to book your place!

Wednesday 15th – Thai Cookery with Lap-fai Lee, one place available.
Thursday 15th – Bread: Back to Basics with Rob, fully booked.
Saturday 18th – Sweet Breads & Viennoiserie with Rob, five places available.

Today is Stirchley Community Market day, we won’t be there this time but there are loads of lovely stalls to be found from 4-8pm at Stirchley Baths.

#thebreadfastclub getting hot this morning on another great ride

A post shared by Worker Co-op // Bike Shop (@birminghambikefoundry) on

We’re hiring!

Big news for the Loaf team – we have two vacancies coming up! It’s bittersweet as we are saying goodbye to two wonderful team members – Kerry and Rob – but they both have exciting plans and we wish them all the best.

If you would like to apply – have a look at the adverts and job descriptions on our jobs page – we really hope to hear from you soon!

Happy International Women’s Day

We’re celebrating International Women’s Day at Loaf today, reminding ourselves of its early 20th Century origins, when on 8th March 1917 women marched through St Petersburg, demanding Bread and Peace, instigating a general strike, the abdication of the Tsar and a revolution. Serious girl power.

We stand on the shoulders of countless women whose political work and direct action mean that we have rights, opportunities and pleasures that they didn’t – we’re celebrating them and we also wanted to share some things we’re proud of here at Loaf, where, if you have visited us, you’ll know that lots of lovely women and a few lovely men work (and also collectively own and run the business).

The key thing for us, is that it’s really not about Girl Bosses, it’s about no bosses. As a worker co-operative all our staff have an equal stake and responsibility in running Loaf, and equal rewards too. Over the past couple of years we’ve been particularly focussed on how best to allow our team to balance family and work, with well paid parental leave and flexibility in the rota. It’s hard to get right but we try to extend some recognition to the work that goes on in the home, as well as the work that goes on at work. We hope this will keep great women working at Loaf, baking bread, serving in the shop, teaching in the cookery school, doing VAT returns, baking cakes for as long as we’re here.

There are some events going on in Birmingham to mark the day, including a free breakfast hosted by our friends at Artefact Cafe (they will be serving our bread) and a rally at midday in Victoria Square. However you celebrate the day, have a good one!

Oh and p.s. International Men’s day is on 19th November (thanks Richard Herring!) ;0)




We’re open!

We haven’t been snowed in and our bakers only live a few minutes walk away. No excuses! Come and visit us if you’re local and your work has been snowed off!

Lunch today: Butternut squash and bean chilli with sourdough (ve) OR Salt Beef on challah with pickles & mustard

Lunch Saturday: Salt Beef on brioche with pickles & mustard OR Cheddar, apple and peanut butter sandwich (v)

PLUS Veggie rolls + Pork sausage rolls and patisserie.

Real Bread Week



We’re supporting The Real Bread Campaign in their celebration of 10 years of Real Bread Week!

#RealBreadWeek runs from Saturday 24 February to 4 March 2018.

An annual initiative of the international Real Bread Campaign, the aim of Real Bread Week is to celebrate additive-free loaves and the people who make them.

We are proud to bake loaves that are 100% free of artificial additives of any kind!

During Real Bread Week 2018:

  • You’ll be able to sample tasters of a different loaf every day during the week – including sourdough, white tin, rye, multigrain, focaccia – and on Saturdays, Maslin! This is the perfect opportunity for you to try something new if you always go for the same loaf when you visit us!
  • We will have bread soups for lunch! If you’re feeling inspired and want to make your own bread soups then we recommend this Chickpea, Tomato and Bread soup by Ottolenghi or this Spiced Chickpea and Sourdough Starter soup by Hobbs House Bakery
  • We will have beautiful riso-printed posters proudly saying ‘I Loaf Real Bread’ available for you to take home and put up and display (if you do – please take a photo to show us!) printed by The Holodeck our local printers
  • Come and have a look at our bookshelves in the shop – we have a number of great real bread books available to buy including ‘Slow Dough‘ published by The Real Bread Campaign
  • You might not know but we also sell bread-baking equipment and flour (£1 per kilo) and yeast. Bring your own tub!
  • If you bring a pot you can get some of our starter for free so that you can try making your own sourdough!

Real Bread Campaign coordinator, Chris Young, says: “Real Bread bakeries like Loaf’s play a really important role in their local communities, providing not only great, all-natural food but also helping to keep the high street alive. Real Bread Week is a great chance for everyone in the area to get along to show their support and help to make sure that they don’t lose such a valuable asset.”

The Real Bread Campaign is part of the food and farming charity Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming. Starting from basic definition of Real Bread as made without any artificial additives, the Campaign’s mission is to find and share ways to make bread better for us, better for our communities and better for the planet.

People can find full details of #RealBreadWeek, discover local Real Bread bakeries and classes, and learn about the Campaign and how to join it and enjoy a range of special offers at: realbreadcampaign.org

Great Food Club 2018

Great Food Club Handbook cover. Watercolour painting of a rabbit.

We’re delighted to be included in The Great Food Club’s 2018 Handbook

“Bigger and better than ever, the 132-page Great Food Club Handbook 2018 is available to buy now for £5.95 including postage. The publication has one simple aim: to guide you to some of the best independent restaurants, pubs, farm shops, breweries, food producers, delis and cafes.

Laid out with an easy-to-use geographical index, it lists over 500 must-visit independents.”

If you are a member of The Great Food Club you are entitled to 10% off all of our courses.

Take a look at their website to see what other great offers there are – and who else has been included in their handbook of independent food and drink hotspots.

See you next year!

We are now closed for Christmas – reopening on Saturday 6th January.

Thanks everyone for your support this year – Happy Christmas!

Great photo from yesterday morning’s 8.15am opening by one of our bakers, Sarah Frost. Patiently queueing people and pigeons.


Loaf merchandise

NEW in the shop!

We have totes (£5), linen teatowels/couches (£10), pins (£3) and beautiful maslin Saturday sourdoughs (£3.50)

Perfect stocking fillers! In case you missed it, we have slightly different Christmas hours:

Thursday 21st December – 12pm – 6.30pm

Friday 22nd December – 8.15am – 1pm (we’re pretending it’s a Saturday!)

Saturday 23rd December – 8.15am – 1pm

Sunday 24th December CLOSED

Monday 25th – 5th January CLOSED

Saturday 6th January OPEN! 8.15am – 1pm

Tuesday 9th January – 12pm – 6.30pm (as normal)

As of Tuesday 9th January we’ll be doing pastries EVERY DAY!!!!!


Screenprinted totes & teatowels by local screenprinter Do Make Say Ink, badges manufactured in Birmingham by BadgesPlus.

Christmas Opening Hours


Thursday 21st December – 12pm – 6.30pm

Friday 22nd December – 8.15am – 1pm

Saturday 23rd December – 8.15am – 1pm

Sunday 24th December CLOSED

Monday 25th – 5th January CLOSED

Saturday 6th January OPEN! 8.15am – 1pm



Mince pies: £1.50 / 6 for £8.

We’ll have mince pies in the shop every day from 1st Dec – if you don’t pre-order, you’re welcome to take your chances!

Stollen: £5.

Collect your pre-orders from the shop on the 21st, 22nd & 23rd December.

Protect Brum’s Cyclists

Last Monday a cyclist was killed by a lorry on the Pershore Road. Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Suzanna Bull, a 32 year old doctor at the Children’s Hospital. 
Our shop is on the Pershore Road, several of us live on the Pershore Road and many of us cycle along the Pershore Road every day. This is very close to home.
We want to ensure action is taken to stop this ever happening again. 
Last night cyclists and others from Birmingham and surrounding areas met at the University of Birmingham Clock Tower, and proceeded a slow ride en masse, passing the location of the Suzanna’s death – Pershore Road/Edgbaston Road junction – where a candlelit vigil was held. The vigil was in remembrance of Suzanna, the cyclists killed on our roads in recent years and acted as a wake up call / protest to raise awareness of the poor conditions offered to people who want to cycle around Birmingham. 
“The junction where the incident took place has been highlighted on many occasions as potentially deadly for both cyclists and pedestrians yet nothing gets done to change it.”


A petition calling for the protection of Birmingham’s cyclists is gaining traction – addressed to Birmingham City Council and the recently formed Transport for West Midlands. The leaders of these organisations Cllr Ian Ward, the WM Mayor Andy Street need to be reminded of the lack of progress their organisations are making toward improving provision for the needs of the most simple and basic transport user groups and the need for positive action now.

A report from 2 years ago showed that 4 Cyclists are injured on Birmingham’s roads on average EVERY day. The Pershore Road was highlighted as having one of the top 3 most dangerous junctions.




#ProtectBrumCyclists #CyclistsLivesMatter
Wording adapted from the vigil event on facebook.


Sourdough September round-up

We’ve just announced the winners of our Sourdough September competition – Gosia Trelka (1st place) and Jo Carr (2nd place).  First prize was a place on our Sourdough course – and second prize a baking book from our book shop! Congratulations!

During September:

  • We had daily tasters of our regular sourdough during the week, and on Saturdays, tasters of our Saturday special maslin loaf
  • We taught 30 people bread-making skills on our courses in our cookery school
  • We sold 1846 *sourdough* loaves (this includes our rye bread)
  • We sold 48 slices of sourdough pizza
  • We had 62 people sign up and enter our competition
  • We were featured on Delicious Magazine’s website in their Sourdough September highlights
  • We had Jack Spicer Adams come in and take new photos for us because we’re going to be updating our website – look at our gorgeous sourdoughs above!

We’re fully booked for Sourdough courses for 2017 but will be announcing the 2018 dates imminently. We have many other courses available – please see our courses calendar to see if anything takes your fancy.

You can find out more about the Real Bread campaign’s mission on their website.

Spend July in the cookery school!

July and August usually equates to thoughts of HOLIDAY! While you’re taking a well earned break, why not get yourself booked in on a course with us and learn some new kitchen skills to impress your friends, family and yourself with!

Take advantage of our quieter time and nab yourself a place on our most popular courses like:

Even if you’re a super busy type, and don’t always have time to get in the kitchen, it’s a brilliant night/day out! Fun, and most importantly you get well fed! You’ll eat everything you make, and take home the left overs (if you leave any).

Check out what we’ve got available for you on our calendar here!

We can’t wait to see you 🙂