Black hands kneading pastry

Source: iStock

A free webinar will next month celebrate black bakers and business owners - and hopefully encourage more people to join the industry.

The Not All Real Bread is White webinar will be held via Zoom on Monday 7 November and will give attendees the chance to hear from black owners of bakery businesses.

The event will include a Q&A session and an opportunity for members of the audience to share their own knowledge and experience of setting up, running or working in a real bread bakery.

“People of every colour and ethnic heritage around the world make and enjoy eating real bread,” stated the Real Bread Campaign.

“Why is this diversity not as well reflected as it should be in the Real Bread Campaign’s supporter network and the UK’s wider real bread movement? What opportunities are there for more black people to start and run real bread businesses and what extra challenges do they face?”

Hosted by Real Bread Campaign ambassadors Aba Edwards-Edun and Marcia Harris, the webinar panel will comprise:

Zakiya Andrews and Nzinga Foster-Brown, Blackbirds’ Micro Bakery, Handsworth, West Midlands
The sisters’ bakery career began with making celebration cakes before running a café in Birmingham. They served bread bought from a local bakery but trying bread from bakeries further afield gave them a taste for making their own. Their desire to create delicious, nutritious food and run a business with a positive social impact led to them setting up Blackbirds’ Micro Bakery. (Note: Zak is unable to attend the webinar.)

Leo Maxlhaieie, Leo The Baker, Sevenoaks, Kent
Locked down in January 2021, Leo started sharing his Mozambican-inspired real bread with his neighbours in Sevenoaks, Kent. News travelled fast and Leo The Baker quickly became inundated with requests and orders. After nine months he quit his day job to run his microbakery fulltime. In early 2022, he successfully crowdfunded equipment for his new commercial bakehouse to scale up production.

Jackie Mckinson, Aries Bakehouse, London
Jackie started a cake-making business from home in around 2001, at first supplying events. In 2015, she moved her microbakery to a converted garage before relocating to a retail park. In 2019, she moved back to where she had grown up, opening the bakery on the street where her mum ran a sweetshop in the 1980s.

Aba Edwards-Idun
While she always loved baking bread, Aba really developed a passion for sourdough during lockdown. A self-taught hobbyist baker, Aba enjoys learning more about real bread from different cultures around the world. When she’s not baking, Aba is a lawyer in the City of London.

Marcia Harris
A former professional baker who specialises in natural leavens, Marcia now teaches children about baking, food growing and cooking as part of pastoral care at a primary school in Islington. She is also a chef tutor, teaching sustainable food practice for the National Food Service London’s Community Cooks program, and runs her own community-based bread-making workshops.

The webinar is being run by the Real Bread Campaign in association with Sustain’s good food jobs site Roots to Work. The event picks up a theme of Black History Month 2022: celebrating the continued achievements and contributions of Black people to the UK and around the world.

Attendees can book at