Closing down our cookery school last April was like amputating half of Loaf, and not just financially. Teaching bread making and cookery skills is a fundamental part of what we do here so to lose that was a really big deal.
Because of its importance we’ve been reluctant to bring it back piecemeal. We’re proud of how we run the school and realised that teaching in a Covid-safe way would not allow us to reach the standards we demand of ourselves.
Now, with vaccination levels increasing and restrictions lifted we’re ready to plan for re-opening.
Here are the headlines.
The full cookery school, with all classes, will be running from January 2022.
These classes will be on sale from late October 2021.
All vouchers that expired, or were purchased, during the pandemic will be extended and remain valid through to 2023.
To prepare for the re-opening we will be running a number of smaller-capacity bread classes in the autumn. These will be initially offered directly to those who have graciously and patiently held on to their tickets from last spring, and then opened up to others should there be spaces. We won’t be taking reservations – please watch the weekly newsletter for announcements.
You probably have questions as to why we’re doing it this way. Maybe we can answer them here…
Why not fully re-open sooner?
Having shut down the school so completely it’s going to take a while to get things back online, from deep-cleaning to equipment maintenance. We also need to transition our brains from bakery mode back into teaching mode.
While we want to think positively, we are still in a pandemic. The situation could change and we could find ourselves in another lockdown this autumn. If so, we don’t want to invest time and effort only to cancel everything.
Until the school is running smoothly again our only income is the bakery. As government furlough support is phased out we need to maintain our cashflow, which slows down other activities.
The run-up to Christmas is an important season in the bakery and we usually reduce classes to concentrate on the shop. After a tough year it’s more important that ever we focus on this period.
Why only bread courses this autumn?
The bread courses are taught by Loaf staff. Not having to hire external tutors means we can avoid a significant loss when running them safely in smaller groups.
Will you be offering any new classes?
Our current plan is to offer the same classes as pre-pandemic, as listed on the website, though we will be refreshing them from top to bottom. So if you bought a voucher expecting a specific class, you should be able to do it by next spring. We do have big plans for the cookery school in 2023 so watch this space!
2022 is a bit too long a wait. Can I get a refund on my voucher?
Of course. Please email us your details and we’ll sort it out right away.
A lot can happen in the next six months. We are being cautiously optimistic but if we need to change any of the above, we’ll communicate it via the newsletter and on this website.