2 August 2022
This is the weekly newsletter from Loaf in Stirchley, keeping you abreast of our bakery and cookery school, and other news we think you might be interested in.
This week the autumn tranche of cookery school classes go on sale!
We’re also having to put our prices up, and explain how we’re trying to keep our bread affordable.
Finally, we’re taking donations to help with our Free Kids Lunches programme, with excess going to the B30 Food Bank.
We’ll have plenty of bread and pastries on the shelves all day, with lunches served from noon on weekdays. Scroll to the bottom for this week’s lunch menu.
Our opening hours are:
🥖 Thank you for your understanding when we had to close last Saturday. This was due to Pete’s Covid recovery taking much longer than we’d hoped. It was not a decision we made lightly and we will be open the next two Saturdays as normal.
🥖 Our annual summer shutdown is the last two weeks in August. We will be closed the fortnight of 15 — 28 August, reopening on Wednesday 31st. This is your heads up to make room in the freezer!
🥖 Stirchley Community Market is coming back! But they need to gauge interest, build up the volunteer army again, and fundraise to cover essential costs. Loaf started at the market and it’ll always have a place in our heart — it’s great to see it returning!
🥖 Back to Books is raising money to develop a radical bookshop in Birmingham, building on work that started at Stirchley Market. Who doesn’t love a radical bookshop?
We’re delighted to formally announce our classes for September through November at Loaf’s cookery school!
Loaf’s all-day classes:
Haseen’s evening classes:
Lap’s all-day classes:
Lap’s evening classes:
These went out to the waiting lists yesterday and are going fast, so get in quick to avoid disappointment!
The response to our free kids lunches programme has been great. From a standing start we’ve given away loads of packed lunches to people who need them — no questions asked.
And then, without prompting, some of you asked if you could send us money to cover the costs, which led to some quite emotional scenes on the Loaf group chat. So we’re making it official.
Our fundraising for the summer holidays will go towards the material costs of the packed lunches. We will provide the labour and logistics. Any surplus will go to the B30 Food Bank.
If you are able (and please don’t feel bad if you are not), you can make a donation on the website or at the counter with your purchase.
It will come as no surprise that we’re having to increase the price of our bread from this week. While most of the cost of a loaf of bread is our labour, other costs have increased significantly recently to the point where we need to pass some of them on.
Here are our new prices.
|White Sourdough - Large||£3.75|
|White Sourdough - Small||£2.50|
|Rye - Large||£3.75|
|Rye - Small||£2.50|
|Rye Special||no change||£3.00|
|Multigrain Tin - Large||£2.50|
|Multigrain Tin - Small||£1.20|
|Stirchley Loaf - Large||no change||£2.00|
|Stirchley Loaf - Small||no change||£1.00|
|Fruit Loaf||no change||£3.50|
Naturally we thought a lot about what to increase and by how much. What follows is a glimpse into that process.
One of the key issues in the world of Real Bread is how to keep it affordable. We believe that good bread is worth paying a fair price for and that factory bread is only cheap because the true costs are hidden. But it is also vitally important that real bread is within reach of as many people as possible.
Last month Molly and Rach went to London for the Real Bread For All conference, looking at how small, local bakeries like Loaf can make Real Bread affordable and accessible for people on lower incomes. On the other hand bakeries have be economically sustainable and ensure that neither people or their products are undervalued.
There were no easy answers but they came back buzzing with ideas, one of which we’re planning to roll out over the next few months. And it was a good reminder that we’re already doing something to keep bread affordable…
Our Stirchley Loaf is an unassuming loaf of bread but it’s very important to us. It’s a simple, yeasted loaf made with a blend of white, wholemeal and rye flour with grated potato added for softness. Because there’s no tin involved we can mix, shape and bake it with the minimum of work and keep the cost down as much as possible. It’s not a lesser bread, but it is much more accessible.
We made the decision a while back that we will always charge £1 for a small and £2 for a large Stirchley, and that the ingredients will not change in quantity or quality. No shrinkflation here. As costs increase the Stirchley will be subsidised to keep it at this price as long as possible.
Meanwhile the majority of our other breads are going up. Some price variations are based on ingredients and there are a couple of overdue corrections, but it’s fairly equitable across the board. This mostly reflects our electricity bill which is more than doubling this year, and given that’s what powers the oven there’s not much we can do about it! (Other than continue to fight for systemic global socioeconomic change, of course.)
Thank you for continuing to buy our bread and keep us trading. As our prices are forced to increase we will continue to work to make Real Bread as affordable and accessible as we can, with your support.
Lunches are made fresh weekdays for 12 noon.
Thanks for all your continued support. See you next week!
Team Loaf: Sarah, Pete, Rach, Ian, Neil, Molly, Dorit, Martha & Nancy