Community bakery finds permanent new home

31 July, 2009
Page 6 

The Handmade Bakery, a not-for-profit community-supported bakery in Marsden, West York-shire, has acquired permanent premises after four months of using the pizza ovens at a local Italian restaurant, Mozzarella's.

The new bakery, on Carr Lane in Slaithwaite, will open on 15 August, and will be the first time the bakery, established in March this year, has had its own premises. Until now, it has been working with other businesses in the community. Its bread is baked at Mozzarella's and then sold to subscribers through a distribution service at the Riverhead micro-brewery pub and retails at Pennine Wholefoods.

The business is run according to the same principles as Community Supported Agricul-ture (CSA), a concept popular in America. It allows the community to become more involved in the cycle of food and have more of a say in how it is produced.

The new premises, a couple of miles from Marsden, is located in the same space as a community-owned greengrocers and deli. The bakery will sell its products in the shop, but will continue to distribute, as before, in Marsden, explained community baker and owner of The Handmade Bakery Dan McTiernan.

The bakery offers subscriptions of one, three, six or 12 months, with discounts offered dependent on the length of subscription. Subscribers choose from a core range of breads, but are also emailed weekly with a range of speciality breads, which they can choose to switch to.

"Transition Town Initiative, a worldwide community-based idea to, for example, lower reliance on fossil fuels and rebuild resilience in communities, had a mailing list of around 150 people in our area - the first people we targeted to subscribe, then it mainly spread through word-of-mouth," explained McTiernan.

The Handmade Bakery produces additive-free bread, such as English Country Cob, Malted and Seeded Granary and The Great White, made from organic and locally sourced ingredients and using traditional slow- fermentation processes.





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