Pop over to Luminary Bakery’s brand new spot in Camden and help women from disadvantaged backgrounds get their lives back on track with just a flat white and a pastry.
Now if that isn’t the most compelling offer I’ve heard, then I don’t know what is. The wonderful team at Luminary have been baking delicious treats at their original branch in Stoke Newington since 2016, but have just opened their second bakery on Chalk Farm Road. So you lucky North Londoners can now feel even more smug about eating vegan, gluten-free peanut butter cookies.
As a social enterprise, Luminary Bakery works with women who have been homeless, victims of violence, involved in sex trafficking or have been in the prison system, find a way back into work. They offer training courses and work experience within their bakeries to empower these women and help get them back on their feet with transferable skills. The supportive environment and sense of community that founder Alice Williams has been able to create has been hugely influential in the success that Luminary has had with its 56 graduates.
“When the women arrive, they are shy and reserved,” said Williams in a recent interview with Vogue. “Walking into a group environment can be overwhelming when every experience they’ve had like that has been negative. But to see a loaf of bread or a cake they’ve created come out of the oven – it’s really significant for their confidence. Pretty soon they’re firm friends, looking after each other’s kids.”
By using baking as a means to help build confidence and a useful set of skills, Luminary has had a life-changing effect on the lives of women with difficult backgrounds. But as well as being taught to knead and sieve, they’re given important lessons in money-management and IT - providing further employment opportunities if they don’t go on to work within the bakery.
So if you’re nearby to either of their bakeries (or just make the trip - it’s definitely worth it) then pop in and help support this wonderful cause. They serve up some of the most sublime cinnamon swirls in London which you can eat totally guilt-free. Game-changer.
CAMDEN: 47 CHALK FARM ROAD, CHALK FARM, LONDON, NW1 8AJ
HACKNEY: 71-73 ALLEN ROAD, STOKE NEWINGTON, LONDON, N16 8RY
HOW CAN WE HELP?
Eat cake and drink coffee at one of their two bakeries. Simple.
Join their team. They currently have some team vacancies (paid and volunteer) at both of their sites, so get in touch if you fancy being part of something epic.