The artisan bakery and café that aims to help women who are ex-offenders is to open on 1 July. 

The Good Loaf is a not-for-profit social business that delivers handmade artisan bread to businesses in the local Northampton area. The refurbishment of the building is now almost completed and menus are being completed.

The wholesale bakery operation will go live on 1 June with a café and retail bakery on-site from July. The project is being funded with £386,487 through the Big Lottery Fund’s Reaching Communities programme. The funding will also provide training and employment to female ex-offenders.

Bakery operations manager Mike Crisp said: “Interest from local food businesses has been fantastic. People are really interested in the idea of real bread with no additives or improvers.”

Debbie Galton, social enterprise development manager, said: “By working through our structured work placements, female ex-offenders will gain practical skills and experience in a real work environment.

“These women often struggle to integrate back into society and need support to gain the skills and experience that will help them to secure work. We aim to provide a real work environment and offer valuable training that will help to transform some really difficult life situations.”