Meet Tom Baker, founder of Loaf Online, an innovative community bakery and cooking school. Find out about how new models of 'social investing' helped residents support the bakery in return for regular bread.
The story so far...
Tom began running a bakery and cooking school from his home in Birmingham in 2009. By 2010 he had 12 regular customers in the bread club, was selling to a few local outlets, and teaching up to six people at a time baking and cooking in his kitchen at home.
Tom, along with other local residents and change-makers formed the Stirchley Community Market, to work as a group to tackle the decline of the local high street.
Could this work in Sidcup?
Loaf were able to expand into a high street store by using an innovative social investing model, where local residents could buy bonds to ensure enough funding for equipment and space.
This type of project is good if you have an idea that is supported by residents but need the start-up capital to get going. Running an enterprise in this way also embeds it into the community reducing the need for commercial marketing and building genuine relationships with customers.
When & Where
The Discovery Incubator
The Discovery Incubator, 9-11 Sidcup High Street
The Discovery Incubator is the high street HQ of In Store For Sidcup. It is a place to be inspired, map opportunities and find support for new ventures.
Sidcup is full of people with skills and resources, aspirations and ideas that could be brought to life on the high street. Are you thinking about starting up something new? Have you already begun? Are you involved in activities nearby?
We are exploring new ways that shopkeepers, residents, local organisations and entrepreneurs can work more closely together and create opportunities that support high street activity.
And we are researching what sort of space will offer those starting and growing enterprises a supportive and learning environment.
Come inside to find out more and add your ideas…