Chelsea Marshall is helping to develop Scotland The Bread and has been connecting with some of our bread making collaborators. This week she went to Freedom Bakery's crowdfunding launch. Here's her blog about it.
Making real bread requires time, dedication and commitment to the process of turning simple ingredients into artisan loaves. In the case of the bakers behind the Freedom Bakery at Low Moss prison near Glasgow, producing the delicious breads and pastries under increasing - and well-earned - demand throughout Glasgow also requires a lot of skill.
Freedom Bakery is a social enterprise working with and providing training to people serving custodial sentences at Low Moss prison. Five days per week, two professional bakers join six apprentices in Low Moss to produce 'fantastic baked goods made using traditional artisan methods and the best ingredients available', all with the aim of reducing reoffending through employment. Based on the knowledge that artisan breadmaking is a growing industry in Scotland, and the evidence that demonstrates people are less likely to reoffend when they have sustainable employment after leaving prison, this bakery produces real bread with a specific purpose.
Freedom Bakery has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise the £15,000 needed to open a second bakery outside the prison walls. Working solely inside the prison means that constraints, such as limited baking hours and the inability to connect with customers, restrict the growth of the business. With demand for their quality products rising, the addition of a second bakery outside the prison will strengthen and broaden its reach within the community.
A very successful launch event at the West Brewery got the crowdfunding campaign off to a good start. We look forward to seeing this great social enterprise continue to bring delicious real bread to Glasgow, alongside opportunities to the bakers in HMP Low Moss.
Freedom Bakery says on its crowdfunder page,
'The genuine demand for what we produce is evidence of the skills, talents and the value of the people behind the baking, their aspirations and their worth once rehabilitated back into society.
‘Freedom 2 will be a functioning artisan bakery and more. It will be here that we produce our wholesale breads and pastries for cafes, restaurants and shops – but also where we open our doors to the general public... All of this will ultimately bring us closer to the public (you!), and enable us to engage with different groups in the community. We think Freedom should be for everyone - our expansion will make this possible.'