Loaf HQ progress part 4

Sorry it’s been a while since the last update and LOADS has happened. We’re very close to getting the shop keys now (this Thursday), and then it will be full speed ahead getting our equipment in and shelves and units up to start taking customers as soon as possible (give us a shout if you can help!!!). We’ve pencilled in an open day for the 8th september – stay peeled to the blog for updates. Also, we’re hoping they’ll be a sneak-preview pop-up a bit sooner than that too. Nod nod wink wink.

Well all the plastering’s finished, it’s been painted and most of the electrics and plumbing is complete. Flooring goes down this week and a bit of tidying up and touching up paintwork etc then it’s ours! I’ve taken loads of photos but here’s three views below. First up this is the rear corridor looking towards the cookery school dining room and cookery school at the front. This isn’t really a public area apart from if you’re looking for the loo, but it’s nice and bright and Jane has been busy potting up plants to green it up a bit!

Next this is the Stirchley Stores shop looking from the back wall towards the shop front. You can just see the bottom of some new light fittings. These will soon be adorned with gorgeous green enamel shades from our pal Harry Starling who also supplied the retro wires and ceiling roses etc.

 

Finally here’s the new shop front for Stirchley Stores and the bakery. Actually this was taken a few days ago and the glass is now complete and it’s been nicely varnished. Smart!

Loaf HQ progress part 3

The cookery school has now been plastered, but we’re waiting for the acoustic solution on the ceiling to be sorted so there’s no ceiling yet – should be starting to go up next week. Here’s 4 pics from the four corners of the main cookery school room, it’s quite hard to photograph.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here’s the original tiled floor from when this shop was a butchers (40+ years ago). I think it will scrub up nice:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They’ve also made the opening to the new accesible loo this week. Its the opening to the left of this pic, with the one straight on heading into the dining room and then the cookery school.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Loaf HQ Progress – Part 2

So it’s definitely still a building site, but I thought i’d share a couple more photos of the new shop. It’s really hard to photograph, I need a wide angle lens I think. Anyway, here’s a shot from the front of the Stirchley Stores shop with the hole through to the Loaf bakery at the back:

As you can see it’s going to be quite narrow at the front (the blue boarding on the left is due to the new stairs that service the upstairs flats), but opens up towards the back. Here’s a view from the bakery opening looking back towards the front:

The new shop front should be going on in about 3 weeks I think, towards the end of the build.

Here’s the bakery plastered (the hole being drilled is for the extraction above the oven):

And here’s the proof it’s all getting real:

Shaping a boule – video

Have been playing around with a posh camera (not mine) that does HD video, a lot of fun. I decided to shoot this short video with the camera mounted on a tripod whilst I shaped some boule (classic round shaped) sourdough loaves. I may have messed around with the speeding up and slowing down of the film a bit, hope it doesn’t make you too dizzy. instructions on screen during the video, but feel free to ask questions in the comments too. Enjoy!

p.s. Here’s what the finished loaves look like the next day:

Loaf HQ – coming soon in 2012

I just wanted to write a quick blog post before I finish for Christmas to let you know our plans for the New Year. If you follow us on Twitter you’ll know by now that we have signed a contract for a lease on a new premises on our local high street in Stirchley, south Birmingham. This is great news as we’ve been operating from Jane’s and my house for 2 years now, and we’re bursting at the seams!

The property (pictured right) has been recently purchased by Everards the brewer, with the purpose of Loaf being their tenant at the building. the new Loaf HQ will be the first premises established as part of Everards’s ‘Project Artisan’ – an innovative scheme to purchase and then lease out buildings suitable for artisan food and drink businesses that need to expand, initiated by Everards after the success of their project to convert pubs for micro-breweries (Project Willam). Everards investment in the property means that Loaf can take on a bigger and more suitable premises than we otherwise could have done and we are very grateful that they came along when they did. We’re currently waiting on planning permission for the conversion of the premises, and there will then be 2 months of building work to complete. This means we are hoping to be in the new place by late March or April.

What will the new place do?

Loaf has been running a community bakery and cookery school for two years now, and the new premises is primarily an expansion of those – there will be a 12-person cookery school on site (visible from the pavement!), as well as a bakery producing a range of real bread for Stirchley and the surrounding area. They’ll also be a retail space, which Loaf is giving to South Birmingham Food Co-operative to run as a joint space. They will be selling our bread in the shop, alongside store cupboard essentials, wholefoods, and eco cleaning products etc – all ethically sourced and fairly priced.

Bread Bonds

Everards are investing in the refurbishment of the property, which is an enormous help, and means we only need to buy the equipment we need and fit it into the property when we’re handed the keys. We need to raise around £25,000 to kit out the bakery and cookery school. In January we will be doing a ‘bread bond’ issue which we hope will raise the majority of that cash. We are looking for people interested in buying ‘loanstock’ – essentially a £1000 loan to Loaf for 3 years. During the 3 years, bread bond holders will get an interest rate on their loan, which instead of being paid in cash will be paid in the equivalent value in bread. At the end of three years, the bread bond holder get’s their £1000 back. If this is something that might interest you and you’d like to be included in the bond issue or would like more details please email me at tom@loafonline.co.uk – I won’t be answering emails until after the new year, but I’m guessing you’ll be pretty busy too, and i’ll be in touch asap after new year.

There’ll be plenty of updates next year as the project progresses, so keep your eyes peeled to the blog or twitter for all the latest. In the meantime, have a wonderful Christmas and New Year, Peace,

Tom.

Loaf HQ – coming soon in 2012

I just wanted to write a quick blog post before I finish for Christmas to let you know our plans for the New Year. If you follow us on Twitter you’ll know by now that we have signed a contract for a lease on a new premises on our local high street in Stirchley, south Birmingham. This is great news as we’ve been operating from Jane’s and my house for 2 years now, and we’re bursting at the seams!

The property (pictured right) has been recently purchased by Everards the brewer, with the purpose of Loaf being their tenant at the building. the new Loaf HQ will be the first premises established as part of Everards’s ‘Project Artisan’ – an innovative scheme to purchase and then lease out buildings suitable for artisan food and drink businesses that need to expand, initiated by Everards after the success of their project to convert pubs for micro-breweries (Project Willam). Everards investment in the property means that Loaf can take on a bigger and more suitable premises than we otherwise could have done and we are very grateful that they came along when they did. We’re currently waiting on planning permission for the conversion of the premises, and there will then be 2 months of building work to complete. This means we are hoping to be in the new place by late March or April.

What will the new place do?

Loaf has been running a community bakery and cookery school for two years now, and the new premises is primarily an expansion of those – there will be a 12-person cookery school on site (visible from the pavement!), as well as a bakery producing a range of real bread for Stirchley and the surrounding area. They’ll also be a retail space, which Loaf is giving to South Birmingham Food Co-operative to run as a joint space. They will be selling our bread in the shop, alongside store cupboard essentials, wholefoods, and eco cleaning products etc – all ethically sourced and fairly priced.

Bread Bonds

Everards are investing in the refurbishment of the property, which is an enormous help, and means we only need to buy the equipment we need and fit it into the property when we’re handed the keys. We need to raise around £25,000 to kit out the bakery and cookery school. In January we will be doing a ‘bread bond’ issue which we hope will raise the majority of that cash. We are looking for people interested in buying ‘loanstock’ – essentially a £1000 loan to Loaf for 3 years. During the 3 years, bread bond holders will get an interest rate on their loan, which instead of being paid in cash will be paid in the equivalent value in bread. At the end of three years, the bread bond holder get’s their £1000 back. If this is something that might interest you and you’d like to be included in the bond issue or would like more details please email me at tom@loafonline.co.uk – I won’t be answering emails until after the new year, but I’m guessing you’ll be pretty busy too, and i’ll be in touch asap after new year.

There’ll be plenty of updates next year as the project progresses, so keep your eyes peeled to the blog or twitter for all the latest. In the meantime, have a wonderful Christmas and New Year, Peace,

Tom.

Limited Edition Real Bread Tote Bags for sale!

loaf tote bagI’m very excited about our first foray into fashion – we recently commissioned Get a Grip studio to screen print 100 organic and fairtrade tote bags for us with a very special real bread design by The Loop Project – now they are yours to own! The bags are 40x38cm, and have short handles.

If you’d like a bag, you can go to our shop page and pay via paypal or email me to pay in cash in person. – they’re £5 each plus 80p P&P, or if you’re in Birmingham we may be able to arrange collection/delivery. I’ll also be selling them at the next Stirchley Market on the 1st March.

Click the image to enlarge it.

Award Winning!

We won an award – community business award for Selly Oak Constituency! Thanks to Matt Powell for nominating us, and great respect to Rob Grovesner of Headmasters and the girls at Maggies Munchies, also nominated, who are both doing great things in the community.

community business award

Loaf’s TV debut!

Glynn PurnellNext week on the Good Food Channel, Market Kitchen will be featuring the food scene in and around Birmingham, and Loaf is a part of it! During the summer the Market Kitchen team went on the road on it’s ‘Big Adventure’, visiting food hotspots all around Britain and filming chef’s, producers, and individuals with something interesting to say about food from their region. At the beginning of October they visited Birmingham and regular host Matt Tebutt teamed up with local chef Glynn Purnell to tour the regions food highlights. I had the pleasure of welcoming them both to Loaf HQ (aka my house) to chat to them about what I do, and take them on a little foraging foray down the River Rea. It turned out Matt is pretty familiar with foraged ingredients already, but lots of it was new to Glynn. Anyway we went out specifically for horseradish and nettles which we found, and I even got them eating raw nettles! The studio part of it was filmed a couple of weeks ago in London and my mate and local grocer Paul Leverton went down to the studio to give his expert opinion on all the dishes they concocted in the studio. You can catch Paul several times next week at 7pm on Monday-Friday, but I’ll be on the show on Tuesday. Sadly as I don’t have sky and am out anyway at an event i’m not going to get to watch it, can anyone record it for me?!?

We are one (again)

birthdayI know, I know, I’ve already posted about our first birthday back in August, however tonight is another one year milestone for us, as it’s exactly a year since we taught our first course (Handmade Pasta), and officially started trading. To celebrate we’re having a little party tonight at Loaf HQ with our bread club subscribers and a few significant others. Everyone’s bringing something homemade, so tonight I have no doubt that the best food and drink in brum will be right here! I’ve made Foccacia, mince pies, and chocolate tart, and I’ve heard on the grapevine that there’ll be homebrew, salt beef, Norwegian cake, and empandillias all arriving later. Now i’ve just got to get the place ship shape!!