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 & STOLLEN

ALL PRE-ORDERS MUST BE PLACED BEFORE 16TH DEC.

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.”

http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/woman-dies-after-pershore-road-13739891

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.

http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/revealed-birminghams-most-dangerous-roads-9501314

PLEASE SIGN AND SHARE THE PETITION it means a lot to us.

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/stop-killing-birmingham-cyclists

#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.