Who’s Hungry?

From Saturday 26th, Loaf isn’t just a bakery and a cookery school – it’s also a shop.  As you’ve probably gathered, Stirchley Stores are leaving and Loaf is taking over the space.


This means you’ll see some changes.  The shop will look different, thanks to some clever friends and a lot of planning.   The bread will mostly look the same.  It should all be on the shelf 1pm on week days.  Depending on who’s baking, it will be more burned or less burned!  The shop will stock equipment, ingredients and books that we love and use at Loaf.  The hours will be slightly altered.  The staff will rotate shifts, so you should get to know the bakers, as well as you know Tom and Nancy.  We’ll have two new faces for you to meet – Jordan (some of you might know from her good work with Stirchley Stores) and Martha, who are both joining the Loaf family!  But perhaps the biggest difference for you, will be LUNCH.

If you ever came to Brewhouse here at Loaf, you’ll be familiar with our ever-changing menus.  No two weeks were the same.  I think that’s the way we like it.  You can depend on us to make a tasty lunch.  But we plan on changing the menu daily to keep it as fresh and exciting for you, as it is for those preparing your food.

We’ll be keeping it simple, seasonal, affordable AND delicious.

So, think a couple of options every day.  Think stuffed croissants or daal, soups or stews, sandwiches or salads or sourdough pizza slices (you can bet sourdough pizza becomes a regular occurrence!).
Along with this, we’ll be serving up our regular brewed teas and coffees every day.

We’re all really excited to welcome you!


Lunches available Tuesday-Friday only from 12 noon.
We don’t have much space, so your lunches will be to go.
As ever, first come, first served!

The Guardian, Country Living Magazine & New Course Dates

At the beginning of March, we were pleased to be featured in the April edition of Country Living magazine, and again in the Guardian on Saturday 22nd March. Celebrating Loaf Cookery School in their Country in the City section, Country Living magazine featured our Earth Oven Building course – and we sold out on places for our end of May course straight away! The Guardian featured us in their ‘Do Something’ supplement, mentioning our bread subscriber scheme, and our no waste bread policy (see photos of articles below). So, we’ve seen an additional flurry of interest, which is fantastic – taking the word about Loaf further afield. With such amazing interest, we’ve had to add new course dates to keep up with the demand. Coming up we have:


The Earth- Oven Weekend is great for both garden, food and bushcraft enthusiasts, and definitely for those that don’t mind getting their hands dirty. No experience is needed, we’ll teach you everything – just a willingness to get stuck in. You can cook practically anything in a wood-fired oven, from bread and cakes to casseroles and pizza, all with that unique smoky taste. And there really is nothing quite like it.

To find out more and to book visit: Earth-Oven Building Weekend

Join Loaf and fish expert Lap-fai Lee for a hands-on evening learning the art and science of fish preparation and cookery. This three hour workshop aims to take the fear out of fish and give you the knowledge and skills to go home and start enjoying preparing fish in your own kitchen. It’s actually pretty quick, easy and fun when you know how! Related courses include our equally fantastic Seafood Two: Shellfish course, if you fancy taking your culinary skills that extra step.

To find out more and to book visit: Seafood One: Fish

Country Living March_April 2014

Country Living, April 2014. Photo courtesy Mike Satterthwaite

Guardian 22 March 2014

Guardian, 22 March 2014. Photo courtesy @Lauralarue

Loaf is Changing

Shop Changes

After a successful first year on Stirchley high street Loaf has outgrown the bakery and is expanding to keep up with increasing customer demand for delicious bread & cakes. Thank you to Stirchley Stores volunteers, our customers, bread bond holders, bread club members,  our landlords, Loaf directors and staff for making this success possible. At the end of April 2014 Loaf will be taking over the shop from Stirchley Stores in order to meet our growing customer demand. The new bakery shop will be run & managed 100% by Loaf staff.

20th-25th April 2014: Shop closes for refurbishment
End April 2014: New Loaf Bakery shop opens


The new Loaf Bakery shop will sell:

Our usual selection of delicious bread & cakes
Fresh takeaway lunches & hot drinks
Specialist cookery school equipment (e.g. preserving equipment)
A limited selection of specialist cookery ingredients (e.g. 00 pasta flour, yeast)



A Special Thankyou

To Stirchley Stores volunteers for your hard work, passion & energy this year. You have brought the community together, &  proven that local people are really keen to see positive change on their high street & to see better access to healthy, affordable, & ethically sourced food. We wish you every success in moving forward with new options in the future and hope to see you continue as a co-operative in Stirchley.

Keep an eye on the Loaf website for future shop updates

Real Bread Campaign is under threat!

The Real Bread Campaign was set up to fight for better bread in Britain, but it’s future is under threat.

Co-founded in 2008 by Sustain and Andrew Whitley of Bread Matters, the Real Bread Campaign has recently lost it’s main provision of funding and is looking for support. Starting with a basic definition of Real Bread being made without the use of any artificial additives, “the Campaign seeks, finds and shares ways to make bread better for us, better for our communities and better for the planet”.

Real Bread Campaign website

Can you help save the Real Bread Campaign by becoming a member?

Loaf is a member of the Real Bread Campaign because, like so many of our customers, we believe the UK is loosing the traditional skills to bake tasty, wholesome, handmade bread leaving us with cheap, mass-produced additive-filled factory loaves. Not only are these loaves filled with chemicals and therefore unhealthy for us, but they are often transported long distances and therefore damaging to the environment. That’s why we started our community supported bakery to provide healthy, Real Bread to our local community, and through the loaf cookery School teach as many people as possible how to make Real Bread. As well as selling good food, we are also able to help other local people like us restore our local high street to the thriving community it once was.

Chris Young, the Real Bread Campaign co-ordinator says; “Until we secure new grant funding, the only money Sustain (the charity of which we are part) has to run the Campaign comes from membership fees and donations, so getting new members is more important than ever to ensure our survival”.

Bread Lovers

So Loaf is asking bread lovers like us to sign up as Real bread Campaign members and spread the word via Twitter (@RealBread) and Facebook (realbreadcampaign). As a member you’ll receive discounts on courses, a quarterly magazine, access to an online forum for tips and advice on bread making, and more. You can also make a one off donation here. Find our how more on the real bread Campaign website: www.sustainweb.org/realbread

Read Loaf’s Real Food Manifesto to find out why we do what we do.

Happy Christmas & Thank you!

What a year!

It’s been fantastic. Thank you to everyone that has made 2013 a real success. We’ve grown from strength to strength over the year, increasing our staff  team, taking on new directors, extending our selection of bread & cakes, developing new courses and pop-up events and meeting lots of new faces in the cookery school, bakery & on our local high street in Stirchley.

Thank you to all our customers, friends, colleagues & families. Special mention also goes to our:

  • Bread Bond Holders – without whom none of this would have been possible – thank you
  • Bread Club members – for returning to the bakery week after week to pick up baked goodies!
  • Loaf Directors – Matt, Michelle, Russ… and former directors Tim & Ria
  • Loaf Staff – Andy, Dom, Jane, Nancy, Sarah & Tom
  • Cookery School Guest Tutors – Haseen, Lap, Lizzy, Mohini, Rachel & Steve
  • Everards Brewery – our landlords who have helped us grow on Stirchley high street
  • Stirchey Stores Members – for sharing the Loaf love by selling our bread & cakes in the shop
  • Creative & green fingered friends – Clare, Fraser, Jack, Jacob, Kerry, Mike, Paul & Walter
  • Fellow Food Lovers – Brad, Carl, Chris, Krishan, Lap, Nico, Nick, Vic
  • Fordall Farm – a community owned business who are a real inspiration to us.

And many, many more… there are just too many to mention!

Loaf in Lights - Christmas 2013

Have a very Happy Christmas and promise of a wonderful new year.

We look forward to developing new & exciting projects in 2014 and hope you will join us for the ride!

From the Loaf Team

x x x

* Christmas Closure – The Loaf Community Bakery, Cookery School and Stirchley Stores will be closed from Wednesday 25th December, re-opening on Thursday 2nd January 2014. Bread Subscribers – we will be baking for you again on Friday 3rd January.


Christmas Goodies from the Bakery

The mincemeat that we made back in October is maturing nicely, and quite frankly we’ve held off long enough. Now December is upon us, we’ll be unleashing glorious mince pies on you every day in the bakery. We have a deliciously rich mincemeat, which will be stuffed into our own sweet shortcrust pastry and baked fresh daily.

PRE-ORDER STOLLEN – This year reserve your Christmas Stollen (for collection in the shop on 23 – 24 December only). We do not offer a postal service. Our usual selection of bread produced in the Loaf Community Bakery will also be available to buy as usual in the Stirchley Stores co-operative community shop.

Christmas Stollen

CHRISTMAS OPENING HOURSThe Loaf Community Bakery, Cookery School and Stirchley Stores will be closed from Wednesday 25th December, re-opening on Thursday 2nd January 2014.

STIRCHLEY BREWHOUSE – We’re taking a small break from Stirchley Brewhouse throughout December. It’s all hands on deck in the bakery instead in the run up to Christmas. The smell of seasonal dried fruit & spices is amazing. Brewhouse will be back again in early 2014.


Tuesday – Friday     2 – 7pm

Saturday                8.15am – 2pm

Monday 23rd December      2 – 7pm

Tuesday 24 December    8.15am – 2pm

Closed 25th December – 1st January.

Re-opening on Thursday 2nd January 2014, 2 – 7pm.



Birmingham Mail feature Syrian inspired bread for Oxfam appeal

Last Saturday 20 July, our bakers teamed up Oxfam Midlands to bake a one-off Syrian yoghurt flatbread to help raise awareness of Oxfam’s Syria Crisis Appeal. We’re pleased to say that the Syrian bread was a huge success and sold out within an hour. We were also featured with Oxfam Midlands in today’s Birmingham Mail (Thursday 25 July, page 16).

We’d like to thank all our customers for their enthusiasm on the day, and Dom for baking the bread in the Loaf Community Bakery. We would also encourage everyone to continue their support by visiting the Oxfam website or reading our previous Syria inspired bread blog.

Bakers use loaf to boost charity - Birmingham Mail (25 July 2013)
Bakers use loaf to boost charity – Birmingham Mail (25 July 2013)

Loaf, Building Community Through Food

As a social enterprise Loaf was set up with the purpose to promote good food and healthy living in communities and build community through food . This means putting our profits towards social projects, primarily in our local community.

This month we welcomed year 6 children and parents from our local Stirchley Community School on Pershore Road to Loaf Cookery School for their very own bread making workshop. The afternoon was a huge success and as teacher Karen Sweeney said “They had an amazing time! The children they were raving about it!”. With three year 6 workshops in total, and comments shared that it was one of the best workshops we’ve ever been to, we’ll take that as a thumbs up! In June we also hosted an enjoyable bread workshop with adults who are deaf and hard of hearing through the work of national charity deafPLUS.

For more Stirchley Community School workshop photos visit their school website – you may even spot a few familiar local faces.

Stirchley Community School Bread Workshop at Loaf
Year 6 pupils, parents & teachers from Stirchley Community School enjoy making bread at Loaf
Parents & children from Stirchley Community School at Loaf
Parents and children from Stirchley Community School at Loaf

We also offer occasional work placements to individuals with a passion to develop a professional career in baking, which this month included Megan Jones who is studying for a Diploma in Artisan Baking at the prestigious School of Artisan Food.

Megan Jones on student placement at Loaf from The School of Artisan Food
Megan Jones on student placement at Loaf from the prestigious School of Artisan Food

Loaf reaches new heights

This month Stirchley featured in the May edition of Brussels Airline’s bthere magazine.

Described as a ‘destination for creativity, comedy and exciting cuisine’, it included us at Loaf and celebrated other local community food and arts initiatives such as Stirchley Community Market. Stirchley seems to be making a name for itself – not only in the UK, but now internationally!

To read more visit the be the b there website or download the full magazine as a pdf. We’re on page 74.

Brussels Airlines bthere Magazine - May 2013
Brussels Airlines bthere Magazine – May 2013

Launching – The Loaf Loyalty Card

Last week we sent whispers around that we would soon be launching a Loaf Loyalty Card. Well the card is now up and running and available in Stirchley Stores. Just pick one up or ask at the till.

The Loaf Loyalty Card is our way of saying thank you to all our regular bread customers and local supporters, without which we would not exist. So, thank you!

Loaf Loyalty Card