Artisan bakery set to help ex-inmates

A history of art graduate has founded an artisan bakery, designed to prevent ex-inmates from re-offending.

Glasgow-based Freedom Bakery, established by self-taught baker Matt Fountain, has been linked with charity Positive Prisons, a self-help group for ex-prisoners.

Aiming to open a wholesale outlet in June, either in Glasgow’s centre or West End, Fountain is hoping to expand the business into retail by the end of the year.

Funding is being sourced from private investors, as well as around £40,000 via a Crowdfunding campaign.

Speaking to British Baker, Fountain said he chose a bakery due to its universal connection to people.

“Bread is something everyone consumes, so it’s automatically a food product that everyone can have an appreciation of as a necessity,” Fountain said. “So, for people with potentially a low formal education or without any work experience at all, bread is something they understand.”

Employing up to four ex-inmates as part-time staff, the bakery will produce baguettes, white and granary loaves, as well as some patisserie, using flour from the Little Salkeld mill in Cumbria. According to Fountain, the bakery also wants to reinvent a few Scottish classics, including gourmet Scotch pies, haggis sandwiches and rolls for a “Scottish take” on artisan bakery.

Yeast will be supplied for free from West Brewery in Glasgow’s East End to create barm bread. In return, the brewery will stock the produce.

Fountain hopes to introduce the idea into prisons in Scotland, similar to the Bad Boys Bakery in Brixton, south London.

The concept has been picked up by BBC Scotland, which is looking to film a television series to follow the growth of the bakery.

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