At the end of April, myself and Britt were in Germany for the InTransit conference.
Located in Erfurt, a town a train's ride away from Berlin, the conference was set up for local initiatives like ourselves to come and meet together with similar projects and share our knowledge and experience. There were organisations from all across Europe attending, and it was a real privilege to be part of the event.
Getting there was a bit of a challenge, albeit a fun one. After touching down in Berlin, there was a two-hour train ride to Erfurt, then a tram ride from there to our scheduled starting place - the Frau Korte building. This is a renovated meeting space right near the train station. Here, we met with all the other organisations for the first time and got to know each other a little bit, before everyone reviewed the previous InTransit conferences (which took place in various parts of Europe).
Though I was not at any of the previous events, it was an insight to hear about them, and to see firsthand how, it doesn't matter where you're from or what exactly your organisation does, social enterprises and co-operatives generally share the same mindsets, have similar ideas and outcomes in mind and go through the same hurdles while trying to get started on various projects. It was wonderful to be in the company of so many like-minded people.
The next day, we collected at the Stadtgarten for the first of our Open Space sessions.
This was something very new to me, but basically, open space is a unique way of hosting conversations and talking about projects in a way that is interesting, and not typical of your usual conference.
Instead of one person standing talking, then stopping for questions, we were encouraged to each go away with our own topics and questions in mind, inviting others to come along and join the dialogue.
I found it much more engaging than the norm, and enjoyed the freedom of being able to dip in and out of different talks.
To set this up, we each stepped up to the microphone in turn, introduced ourselves and our proposed topic, then pinned it up underneath a number on the board. These numbers were different locations in the building where these informal talks would be hosted, so people had the choice to come and go freely to whichever ones interested them.
The idea of open space is that if you are not contributing, or do not feel you are getting anything out of a topic, you are within your right to stand up and move on elsewhere.
I set my own talk up in the dining area - "What is the secret ingredient to getting people involved?"
The method to my madness here being hosting the talk in the dining area, where the buffet, tea and coffee was at easy access, and a bit of a sneaky segue into my discussion, and indeed what we do at Homebaked in general.
I gathered quite a good crowd, and it was both inspiring and a little humbling being able to host such a great conversation about the work I do and enjoy.
We came to the conclusion that, with a project such as Homebaked, getting involved is something that happens quite organically. To quote an old classic film, "if you build it, they will come". I think this applies, though perhaps not always in a literal sense. I know many people who have stepped into Homebaked out of curiosity or to buy a buy or cup of coffee, and are now following us on social media and our work with the 'Build Your Own High Street' project, involved on a voluntary basis, or regular faces during the week for their loaves or lunch.
After the open space sessions, which ran roughly from 9.00 until 17.00 we each got the chance to have a bit of food, entertainment, and visit some of the social projects around Erfurt.
I chose to go to the Klangerust, a non-profit venue which encourages the growth of young performers, artists, bands and so on. A really inspiring place.
They had recently had a retro night on, which inspired me even more, so the place was decked out with old 8-bit characters and Mario memorabilia.
This sort of project always gets me excited - it's the sort of thing I'd personally love to embark upon with Homebaked somewhere down the line. A writing evening, a swap meet, more markets and events like our upcoming 'Return of the Thing on The Rec'... so many possibilities!
And at an event like InTransit, those possiblities become even more apparent and doable.
While the event, and my journey in Erfurt, continued, the last day of the open space was another busy one to wrap everything up and to collect our thoughts and research. When I say "collect it", I really mean it!
The notes, photographs and indeed even illustrations, from the open space day had been meticulously collated in a selection of booklets which we each took home to keep as research and a great reminder of the three days. These booklets are available to look at in the bakery, on our bookshelf. Come along and have a look!
My name is Bradley. I have done the 26-week traineeship with Homebaked Community Land Trust and Rotunda College. I am 18 years old. I grew up in Aintree and moved to Kirkdale at the age of 14. When I applied for the traineeship I had been working in a lot of different industries, like business admin, HR and in the end, I found myself stuck in a dead-end bar job. I am quite academic when I put my head to it, but at school I found myself feeling very dis-interested after my parents split and relocating to an area which felt sort of foreign to me at the time. As a result of all this my GCSEs weren’t very good which limited my opportunities for further education.
I started volunteering at a family business, Lady Justice UK when I left school. For me, this was where everything really began. I was taught everything I needed to know about the world of work and the link between employability and volunteering. This placement was a key turning point for me.
I then started volunteering at Liverpool Homeless Football Club, where I met another volunteer Angela McKay, who also works at Homebaked and recommended the new project starting there. She thought it would be a great opportunity for me to find out what I love and kick start a career. I applied and after an intense interview process was chosen as one of three trainees.
I loved my time with Homebaked. First of all I learnt straight construction skills and then working with the principal designer I realized that I have ideas in my head that I can communicate through something I design. I get really excited and have to put my ideas into a shape. This is the first time I came across something I really want to do as a profession. The coaching sessions from Britt Jurgensen at Homebaked helped me to focus and make an action plan. I am now at evening college to do GCSEs again. I did extensive research about each university I wanted to go to and how I am going to get there. The other thing I found with my time at Homebaked and Rotunda is a real excitement of working with all kinds of different people and the feel of being part of a community. I have volunteered many places before, but in this time, I realized community work is something professionals can do and that I could be a designer and still use my skills to work for the benefit of communities.
Homebaked and Rotunda helped me to find placements at an Architects practice in Liverpool. I have recently finished my placement at Condy Lofthouse Architects where I learned how to use various CAD software and I got a real insight on what an architect does day by day (which made me even more excited). I work between Rotunda and Homebaked CLT at the moment supporting them with community engagement and communications and especially getting young people to be a part of their local community.
Once I had brewed my thoughts a little, I decided I wanted to go to Central Saint Martins, London. I was constantly on the internet researching a route in to CSM, then I found the ‘Foundation Diploma in Art & Design’ and after reading the course page extensively, I slowly got to the bottom where I saw the deadline was two days away. In a state of panic, I wrote my full application and pressed submit, to then receive an email saying, “you have 5 days to submit a 20-page portfolio of your work”. Panic resumed. But then Britt and I sat down together and talked through the work I had done over the last year and how I could present that and I realized that I actually had a great amount of content for the portfolio. I finally understood why she made us take photos of everything we had been making. I started to piece everything together and submitted my portfolio with no time to spare. It was actually a great process, thinking about everything I had learned.
I knew this uni is one of the most prestige schools of architecture in the country and there was a high chance my application wouldn’t be acknowledged.
A few weeks later, surprisingly, I got an email inviting me for a ‘full group portfolio review’ at CSM. I was due to go to Italy at the same time with my family, so I had to re-arrange my flights. This was when it began to feel real. I was really worried about the ‘group’ aspect of it. Who was going to be there? Would they all be from an arts background with lots of amazing sketch books? But I tried to block any doubts from entering my mind.
I printed and bound my portfolio and got on the train to London. I was planning to wait nearby the university to do some last-minute prepping. I saw a tutor and they got me in to the earlier interview, so I could definitely catch my flight. The interview went really well. It was a great group and we all bounced off each other, trying to help each other out. I felt very comfortable in my own skin.
Then the waiting started all over again. It was painful, I was worried the refresh button on my email account would burn out. By now I had a whole team at Homebaked and Rotunda, as well as my family and friends waiting with me. Every time my mum rang me, she started the conversation with: ‘Av you heard yet?’ After 9 weeks of all of our patience bearing thin, I received an unconditional offer. I can’t contain my excitement for September!
When I look back at how far I have come over the past year and the opportunities I have been given, I feel very proud and also grateful. None of this would have been possible if it wasn’t for the encouragement and guidance I have been given from everyone. Now I am on my way to becoming an Architect.
We are doing a very happy dance in the bakery this morning. Two of our pies have placed in the top three pies at the British Pie Awards and we have been invited to the Awards Lunch in Melton Mowbray ( where we also find out how many medals we’ve won).
Tomorrow Luke & Stephan will be heading south again to see if we produce the best Vegetarian Pie or the best Sports Pie in the country.
We are so delighted that our little community-owned bakery in Anfield is up there with some of the biggest pie producers in the country. Just proves that you can do business in a different way.
It was unfortunate to see such grand houses look so bleak and decrepit. It seemed like a great opportunity for us to do something positive to show us as a community in a positive light. Britt Jurgensen, Andrew Beattie and myself had planned to make some posters to go on the windows of the un-occupied Victorian terraces attached to the bakery. I had put together a selection of images of Homebaked’s volunteers and staff. Thankfully we found enough willing volunteers to have their portrait visible to passers-by.
The day was set fair, thankfully the weather held off and with a gang of enthusiastic helpers we set out to paste some pictures of our beloved members. I came with a roll of printed images of photos, all taken by the photographer and baker Mark Loudon. We had very little experience of doing this kind of thing but we were all up for a challenge.
So, you want to make your floorboards a nice feature in your house and ditch the carpets? Well, this is how you do it.
1. Remove any nails that are sticking up out the flooring with a nail punch to stop the sandpaper from tearing whilst using the drum sander.
2. Remove all debris from the floor.
3. Use various levels of grit on the sandpaper, 24, 36, 40 and 80, and sand against the grain. Use floor and edge sanders.
4. Hoover in between each different grade of grit to pick up debris and sawdust.
5. Apply your first coat of varnish.
6. Apply varnish coat number 2.
7. Using a 450 grit sandpaper, sand the floor in the direction of the grain.
8. Use a damp rag to wipe excess dust off the floor.
9. Apply the final coat of varnish to the floor.
10. Stand back and admire your handy work.
What you need:
- Table saw
- 1 sheet of 9mm ply
- 1 sheet of 12mm ply
- 1 sheet of 18mm ply
- PVA glue
- 10 sash clamps
- 40/80/120/240 grit sanding paper
- Orbital sander
- Skill saw
- Square straight edge
- Clear yacht varnish
- 4 hairpin legs (bought)
- 20 screws
- Wooden drill bit
- Copper spraypaint
What to do:
* Using the table saw, rip down the ply into 55mm rips.
* Decide a pattern you want to place the different thicknesses of ply in to
* Dry fit the pieces and make sure its the size you want your table
* Set up a tray of PVA glue and a roller
* Set up half of the clamps with equal spaces.
* Glue the inside side of the rips
* Place them in the clamps and push together, be quick before the glue drys
* In the spaces in between the clamps, place the remaining clamps on the top side of the wood.
* Leave the table in the clamps for approximately 12-24 hours.
* Take the table out the clamps and plane it until it is flat
* Sand the table with the orbital sander starting with 40 grit then 60 and then 80, always going with the grain.
* Brush off excess dust in between each grit
* Set up a straight edge across the end of the table.
* Using the skill saw cut a straight edge across the both ends
* Go over the table and the sharp points with a sanding block and the 240 grit.
* Brush off excess dust and your ready to varnish
* Take your table in a dust free room and apply 1st coat of clear yacht varnish.
* The dry time is 2-4 hours before reapplying another coat.
* De-nib with the 240 grit in between coats.
* Apply approx 4 coats, depending on how you want the finish
* Spray the hairpin legs with the copper spray paint in a well ventilated space.
* Measure the same distance from each corner and pilot drill holes for the fixings for the legs
* Once the legs are on. The table is done! (This applies if you’ve pre-bought legs which we did).
This Saturday match day HomeSquare turned into a stage for some great rhythms and tunes. We had the honour to host the Anfield Community Arts Samba Band and drummers from Beatlife. We defied the cold with drumming and dancing and shaking the money bucket which filled quite quickly thanks to charming Olivia and appreciative match day goers. The atmosphere was great and HomeSquare turns out to be a fabulous stage (as long as the artists wear sensible shoes!). The only disconcerting moment was when some male fans decided to go for a wee right on our square and pretty much next to the young people. Not cool! But there is always room for improvement. We are looking forward to more music on the square. If you want to play, let us know. And Anfield Community Arts: we hope you come again!
Hi, Welcome to HomeSquare,
This public space was designed by members of the community and commissioned by Homebaked CLT - a community-led housing and enterprise scheme born as a way to develop our High Street together. It was built by us, the Homebaked trainees (Leanne, Bradley, and David) with the help of many volunteers.
To be honest, when we first took on this space we found a lot of dog shit. On the first day, Bradley went home with poo up his trouser leg which took 5 washes to get out.
But we saw beyond that, and the community drew up some pretty snazzy plans (thank you those who led that work) to turn this into a beautiful pocket park, with spaces to gather and spend time in or grow, sing, bring your kids to, and have fun in. A nice place to spend a quiet moment in the middle of a busy day. Whatever you want it to be.
We've painted the container, built a space to sit on, some nice planters to grow things in, made a workshop, decking and a little house.
We want you to love using this area as much as we've loved making it for you, and use it in whatever way you want really. But we'd also like it to remain a nice place to go long after we've finished putting the last nail in the decking and so here's a few things you might consider as you use it:
- Please use this space to drink and eat together - but please take your rubbish with you when you leave.
- Play your music. Bring a guitar. But please respect the neighbours and keep the noise down. If they can hear it in the bakery kitchen then its definitely too loud.
- Respect the plants - they were planted by Sylvia, Sam and a few other people that live around here. Nice aren't they? Good work, Sylvia, Sam and the other people that live around here.
- This is not a place to spend the night, but do feel free and have a nap, meditate and make yourself at home.
- Drugs are for mugs (keep them off HomeSquare - there might be a kids party here tomorrow and the last thing that the clown that they've hired wants to do is pick up your roaches before he starts making the balloon animals.)
- No pooing or pissing, please. Humans and dogs. We can't realistically stop squirrels or cats doing their business on the grass, but please report a human dressed as a squirrel or a cat doing it.
Leanne (Monkey), David (Ginge) and Bradley (Hench) homebaked.org.uk
Text is taken from the HomeSquare opening poster
- FFP3 mask (dust)
- A couple of buckets
- Brick acid
- Hand brushes (x3) and a long house brush
- Thick cutting disk, mortar rake and steel wire wheel for grinder.
- Chemical suit and APEK1P3 mask
- Yellow sand
- Bag of cement
- Trowel and hawk
And this is how you do it:
1. Get the thick cutting disk, mortar rake and a steel wire wheel ready for the grinder
2. Using the thick cutting disk, cut into the mortar about half an inch. If it's old it’ll fall out in chunks
3. Use mortar rake to get bits off that are stuck.
4. Use the wire wheel to take the thinnest layer of mortar and date off
5. Brush the excess mortar off
6. Acid wash - someone needs to dress up in a full chemical suit (Paul) and mark. Mix the brick acid with water. Use the long house brush to get it over the wall. Leave it on for 2 hours and then wash it off with water again with a hand brush.
7. Mix one part cement with 4 parts sand. Add water until it's thick enough so that it doesn’t fall off your trowel. Put mixture on Hawk. Scoop mortar off with the back of trowel and fill the gaps.
8. Perps first and then the beds. (small lengths and long lengths). Do the front of breast first and then do the side once that's dry.
9. Hand brush when it's damp to smooth it off.
10. Stand back and admire your work. You've just repointed a wall.
HomeSquare is now open to the public and our trainees have moved upstairs to begin work on what will become the first home in HomeBaked.
Watch this space for updates from Paul, Bradley, Leanne, David and the team over the coming weeks....
What have you been up to since we last met up?
Bradley: In the past week we’ve knocked down the wall in front of the flat door and bakery and have been sanding and preparing some wood planks to make into wooden bricks for the wall.
David: The wall is going to be a nice feature outside the flat with planters built into it. We’ve been staining the wood and it's a long process because they’re all different sizes. They can’t be a millimeter out to make it work.
We also made some workbenches in the process and tables to put the plane on for the container.
How does it feel to see the work you’ve done so far finished?
Bradley: It’s boss. Without the harris fencing around the square, it looks completely different. The wood chipping is all down.
Have you seen anyone using the square yet as you’ve been working?
Bradley: Yeah, Larry and his dog. Ever since we started working on the square we used to see him and his dog walk past and he always had a big smile on his face and even his dog looks like he’s smiling. So I said, ‘he’s as happy as Larry him’ and now that's what he’s called.
David: Yeah and another guy turned up who had about 6 different accents with a lizard on his back. He called it a lady dragon.
What are you hoping to see on the square?
Bradley: Just people using it.
David: Anyone really. People just going there to read would be nice.
Bradley: It’s good the way we use it. We have our lunch their sometimes. The other week when there were no seats in the cafe we grabbed lunch and ate it there.
They’re going to do yoga in there too soon.
David: Yeah, there are a few classes in there now.
How does it feel at the opening?
Bradley: It was good. It was a relief to see everyone there and using the space. I liked the square but I only really started to see it come together a couple of days before when we were putting the finishing touches on it.
Where is your favourite bit of the space?
David: The structure itself, ‘the thing’. We’ve spent most of our time there and we’ve even used it as a workshop. It’s been great to use when it's been raining.
Bradley: When the weather is a bit better the area by the planters on the decking. A couple of weeks ago after the opening when Paul and Leanne had gone off to work on something, and I sat minding the side and it was nice to sit there. It’d be a great place to do book readings for kids.
And the Oakfield Road No Crust Sandwich Club could meet on the decking.
What has been the biggest thing you’ve learned so far?
Bradley: The most interesting part for me has been putting the balcony up. It was challenging and once you’d figured it out it was great. Repointing was great to learn too.
David: The general joinery stuff for me. Learning what side of the wood to cut on, the angles and the thickness of the blade you need. Just the basics that you wouldn’t know existed before - there’s a lot to it.
What are you looking forward to that you have coming up?
Bradley: Getting into the flat to do the finishing touches.
We’re doing the floors and making a big dining table and benches.
David: It’ll be great to see it when it's finished and think, ‘we’ve done that and really contributed to the project’.
Bradley: It’ll be great to see who moves in. It’s going to be a lovely flat.
David: I really want the people that have moved in to learn about the story of how it came together and the journey that people have been on putting it together for them.
How have you dealt with any setbacks along the way?
David: I think they challenge you to get your thinking cap on and think, ‘whats the alternative?’
Bradley: When you get a setback, you have to think about what you have to do next and once you’ve done it I feel great.
David: It's been great to see Paul come up with solutions to things as we’ve gone on too. He’s done that a lot.
Bradley: With Homebaked, we’ve been treated on the same level as everybody else. It’s been a team effort.
Our building team and many volunteers have been hard at work over these past few months building the beautiful pocket park which was designed together locally, and we've now called HomeSquare (or alternatively HomeTurf as some like to call it).
On 29th October 2017, Homebaked members, friends and neighbours gathered together with those that designed and built HomeSquare to celebrate its official opening. A lone trumpet played as Arthur, community member and Homebaked member and official cheerleader of the build, cut the ribbon along with his entire family. Led by master of ceremony Peter Carney we planted a tree, lit a fire, hosted a tea ceremony and gathered together to chat, listen to and tell stories. Many kids built mini-planters with Paul Harcombe to take home their own little bulb and great hopes for spring. We had some lovely food and hot spiced apple juice prepared for us by the Back Kitchen from Liverpool Homeless Football Club and Chair of the CLT board and amazing cook Ralph Bullivant. Thanks to Writing on the Wall our beautiful pavilion was filled with some great spoken words and of course we actually ended up singing Karaoke (!!). There was an intense use of our new hammock and some very rigorous swinging. Good! Thanks to Homebaked volunteer Phil Moore many bulbs were planted in the ground and each one of them came with a wish. When it started to get cold we huddled around our cosy fire and cracked some jokes. To warm ourselves up we played a couple of rounds of back alley bowling (a big thank you to artist and pie maker Louis Jeck-Prestidge who invented and built this great game for us). And Max counted all the fallen leaves on HomeSquare (one, many...). It was a great day!
Thank you to all who came to celebrate with each other.
With a special thanks to everyone who volunteered time and materials:
Darren and Leon White, Peter Carney, Jemma Rafferty, Jade Barrett-Ellis, Phil Moore, Ralph Bullivant, Patricia Levey-Bennett, Ian Byrne, Jimmy Lawless, Jimmy who normally makes pies, Jo Hudson, Elaine Cresswell, The Boys On Bikes, Chloe Buckley, Terry Reilly, David Young, Derek Dottie, Benjamina Galea and Nils Phillips.
Liverpool Homeless Football Club, Keepmoat, Rotunda College, Stanley Park CIC, Liverpool City Council, Manchester International Festival, London Design Festival, CAB Anfield, The Whitechapel Centre
And of course the design and production team: Bradley Barrett, Leanne Mitchell, David Wood, Paul Harcombe, Nicolas Henninger, Britt Jurgensen, Samantha Jones, Silvia White, Louis Tuckman, Andrew Beattie, Angela McKay, Louis Jeck-Prestidge, Calley Green, Myriam Lahnite, Mal Thomas and Andrea Ku.
HomeSquare is an open invitation, an experiment and a public conversation. How do we like to use public spaces? How can we be inclusive and safe? Can we find ways of using this land in ways that is both fun and respectful to others? And many more questions. We can’t wait!
Welcome to HomeSquare.
Photography by Mark Loudon.
Over two weekends in October, a group of volunteers came together to help us get HomeSquare ready for our opening. Here are some photos from the weekends. A massive thank you, as always, to those that came over to lend a hand.
Our building team is almost finished on the outdoor building work on HomeSquare, before they head upstairs to begin work on the new flats above the bakery.
Our trainees, David, Bradley and Leanne sat down for a chat with the site supervisor and their mentor, Paul Harcombe, for an early morning chat to talk carpentry, dog poo and what he’s learned so far.
How did you get into carpentry?
When I was 16 there was I scheme which I joined called YTS, set up by Margaret Thatchers Comrades. You went and learned a skill and earned jack-shit really; £ 29.50 per week. I came out of there having learned marquetry, which is wood veneering, carpentry, wood turning, upholstery and french polishing and so I picked up quite a lot of skills which are now transferable. It was well worth doing.
It was a 2 year course and I did 1 year of it and got a job through a company called Thorn EMI refurbishing veneers on televisions. In those days you’d rent the televisions from radio rentals.
How did you get involved in Homebaked?
I responded to an email which suggested that there might be an opportunity for me. They asked, ‘do you want to use your skills and give something back’ and I was well up for that.
It was the opportunity to share my skills with other people and see if it might be interesting for them. You learn quite a bit about yourself when you’re teaching, too.
What have been your memorable moments so far?
Funnily enough I had some photos of it out last night. When we were here on the first day cleaning all the dog poo up and Bradley fell in it. The first day, covered in shit.
Memorable? I think it was the early stages because nobody knew each other and we were all trying to find out who we all were.
What do you think of your nickname?
Mine is ‘Curly Head’ or something isn’t it?
It's funny you ask that because it used to be that years ago, too. It hasn’t gone away.
Who’ve been the characters that you’ve met so far?
Everyone really because you’re around them a lot. I’m around you a lot, like it or lump it. I work Nicolas a lot, too.
What have you learned from Nicolas?
He’s one of the better architects I’ve worked with because he knows how to build as well, not just planning and drawing, but he knows how to build as well. A bit like Howard Hughes, who learned how to design an aircraft and learned how to fly it as well. Some architects don’t want to know, they give you a drawing and say ‘off you go’ and they’re never dirty, but Nicholas is right in there like a bull, he gets stuck in. That's what I like about him.
What are you most looking forward to?
Teaching you how to make furniture, and how to design. Thats the main thing. I know that you’ll really love that.
You’ve worked in other places, where was your favourite place to work?
Australia, because the heat was manageable. The heat in Florida was heavy, too much.
I worked and travelled coast to coast. But I loved Sydney. I was there in 2001.
How did Liverpool change whilst you were away?
When I got back to Liverpool, health had become current, which I was quite surprised at. I’d loved in countries where health was consciously current all the time, but when I came back here and juice bars had popped up everywhere and people were getting into Yoga and training before they went to work.
New buildings, new sights, new bars and restaurants, new houses, areas disappeared. Loads new.
In June 2017, building work on HomeSquare and the flat above the bakery began. 4 new team members joined Homebaked to take on the building work.
Paul Harcombe joined as the foreman for the building work, and he is joined by 3 new trainees, Bradley Barrett, David Wood and Leanne Mitchell.
The team will work with a number of people from Homebaked as well as our architects Architectural Emporium, our landscape design team, HomeFarm, community design teams and external contractors over the 6 months. They have started building work on HomeSquare and will be moving up the flat in September.
We recently spoke with the trainees to find out how they’re getting on.
How did you get involved in Homebaked?
Bradley: I was working as a volunteer at Liverpool Homeless FC and saw a flyer that Angela from Homebaked put up on the noticeboard that was advertising the traineeship. I applied because I thought it was a great opportunity to get involved in a great community project whilst learning a trade.
David: I got on board by accident really; I went into the Rotunda to do a health and safety training course to get my CSCS card to help me get a job but whilst I was there I was offered the opportunity to come and work at Homebaked. It fitted in ideally as it was the reason I was going to get my card in the first place because I needed a job! And I’ve been here ever since, learning different aspects of construction.
Leanne: A friend had shown me the advert on twitter and I got in touch after seeing that and spoke with Britt and then came in for an interview. It was something that I’d been looking for for ages, but I couldn’t find the right course and I’d taken on different jobs for the money - I worked in an airplane factory, chemically treating parts, and I got my forklift licence through them, warehouse work - and then this opportunity came along. Joinery is what I’ve always wanted to do. Since then I’ve been learning that it's something that I really like.
Tell us about some of the people that you’ve worked with so far.
David: That's the great thing about this, everyone is so different, from different backgrounds and has taken different career paths.
Paul by trade is a carpenter, and so there’s stuff that he’s said he’s learning as well.
Bradley: Agreed, at Homebaked no two people are alike, and that's why it is so interesting. I work with people with years of experience in a lot of different sectors. There are volunteers at Homebaked from many different countries, I think it is great to converse with all these people because it makes me more culturally intelligent every day.
Leanne: Nicholas is an architect, but he builds as well. And you don’t find many architects that build as well. Or be on site a lot. He’s dead knowledgeable, he’s always got an answer for you.
I love the different personalities here, I think that's why we all get on so well. We all learn from each other every day.
David: Whats great is that they all say that they’re learning too, alongside us. Nicolas, for example, is learning the scouse language, that's his big learning curve.
So we’re all learning in different ways which is quite cool and even though we’re trainees, we still feel like we’re all on an equal platform.
Leanne: Arthur keeps coming in every day, to tell us a little joke. Every day he’s got a couple of new jokes for us.
David: I had to get some pictures of him because he’s a local legend. He was in the Merchant Navy and he’s always got some old stories for us, old jokes and he’s always telling us that manners are important and he’s old fashioned like that, which is cool. It helps out with our day because when it gets to 2 pm, he’ll pop over.
And there’s obviously the staff in the bakery as well and we’re getting to know them well. Even in the bakery, everyone is different in their own way and I think that's what gives them their camaraderie.
What have you learned so far?
Leanne: It's been great and we’ve learned loads of things. We’ve just learned how to put corrugated roofs on.
With the gardening, we’ve learned loads of things, like how to make planters, which David has already put into use at home.
David: At my mums, with the spare wood from the decking she’d had put in, I made the planters for her, and that was just from the things I’d learned here.
Yeah, we’ve learned loads of things. It's been split into two - we’re working now on the public square and then going in to do the flat in October. We’re going to be learning loads of different things from both sites, which I think gives us a broader experience to learn from. I think that's the brilliant part of it.
Bradley: When I first got involved I knew very little about the construction industry, but I have progressed very quickly through the intense training and work alongside skilled and very experienced craftsmen. First, I learned the ins and out of health and safety, the basic skills of joinery and structural work and I am now competently using various power tools.
Leanne: I can’t wait to get upstairs and get to work on sanding the floor boards down, and renovating the flat. That's something that I want to get into, I like the finishing touches. We’re going to make worktops, out of plywood, and I can’t wait to see what they look like. Veneering - putting the plastic into the wood, we’ll be doing that as well, which is like a trade in itself.
What have been the biggest things that you’ve learned and memorable moments to date?
David: A lot of it is the skills - knowing our angles for cutting wood and using the miter saw and learning how to actually use all the equipment and learning our measurements for cutting different types of wood. To me, that's been a big learning thing for me.
Leanne: Mine was using a handsaw because when you first get it it wobbles everywhere, and after a day I’d figured it out. And using power tools, too, things I’ve never used before and learning how to use them and how to use them safely.
And painting the container and learning how to not get it on yourself. The first day I was painting it and got on the ladder and ended up with no paint in the tray when I got up there as it was all over me! That was a bad day.
Bradley: My most memorable moment was when we had the one show come to interview us about our traineeship and the plans of our public square and the accommodation we are re-developing above the bakery.
David: But there are other things as well. I mentioned getting to know people, and different cultures and how people like is another learning thing and its knowing how to talk to people and how to react. Some people need a pat on the back and some people need a kick up the backside.
Has there been anything that's surprised you so far?
David: There have been loads for me because all of this is completely new to me.
I think the workshop we did in the flat to help with the design and understanding how the building actually works to keep the structure up was a big thing.
Leanne: When we worked out how to put the wood on the roof of the classroom on the square, and we had to learn how to do it safely and solving problems to do it.
I also hear you all have nicknames for each other?
David: It all started with Brad. He’s always given himself the name ’The Hench’ - I think he loves himself a bit - and so we called him that and then Britt came with some mugs for us so we can make a brew and because they’re all the same we had to write our names on them, but instead of using our normal names we gave ourselves our nicknames.
Leanne: Nicholas gave me mine because I was quick at climbing up the structure to do things, so he called me ‘Monkey’, which in his French accent is very funny. He’s a funny man.
David: We call Paul ‘Curley Watts’ because he’s got a big load of curls coming out of his brain. Nicolas, we call ‘Shock’ because he’s got similar hair but he looks like he’s licked a battery. We’ve actually had loads for Nicholas - I call him ‘Professor Wheetos’ and ‘Marv’ off the film Home Alone.
And mine is ‘Ginge’ because of my hair although I’m starting to call myself ‘Chesney’ now. That's my new name.
What are you looking forward to?
Leanne: Mine is doing the flat, learning how to use the wood up there and about skirting boards, worktops, and door frames. We’re also building shelving in it. And these are all things that I can use in my own life as well as later on when I go into my own business.
David: Mine is more the design side to it and the ideas part. I liked the design workshop we did. And finding out from people like Nicholas and Toby what is actually possible in the space because you could have loads of ideas that aren’t possible structurally. Having an input into the design is what I like doing and then seeing the end result from that is exciting.
Bradley: At the minute we are working on the public square. We all let our imaginations run free when designing different furniture and finishing pieces. I’m excited for it to be finished and start work above the bakery so we can start to learn the refurb side of the trade and design our own pieces of furniture and special finishing touches. We have come so far since our first day and the whole team finds it so rewarding when we finish each step so I can not wait until people in our community are enjoying our work as much as we hope they will.
Photos by Britt Jurgensen, Angela McKay, Andrew Ku, Bradley Barrett, David Wood and Leanne Mitchell.
The Homebaked Community Landscape Design course started in spring 2017, led by Andrea Ku of b4biodiversity. Students who attended the course would receive a qualification in 'Conservation Skills' on completion of the course in August 2017, as well as helping to design and create a community green space for our high street.
The aim of the course is to learn about practical landscape design and building and designing as a group the Homebaked HomeSquare, a little pocket park piece of land on Oakfield Rd just a few steps away from our bakery.
Work began by measuring out the site, analysing the soil, learning more about the local area through mapping and genius loci, talking to local people about their views of the area and finding out their plans and ideas for the area.
The team also visited public spaces in Liverpool city centre to learn about what works there, why, how they were built and what plants were used and why.
Designs were then made by the team; both hand drawn and in 3d using Jenga blocks and from this work the team decided to work with pallets as a building material. The design will consist of steps, planters, seating and a house structure on the top of the container on site.
The students met and worked with Architect Nicoals Henninger, Paul who is leading 3 local apprentices, Bradley, Leanne and David, who are building the new elements for the public square before moving on to th flat above the bakery, to design and build the planters.
The team have also learnt about garden management, maintenance of tools and how to use power tools to build the planters and prep them for staining.
Plants for the new site will be purchased from JA Jones, (a supplier of landscape plants based in Southport) when the planters are ready. Because of the variation of light and shade, students have chosen a mixture of deciduous and evergreen climbers, seasonal bulbs, ferns, scented plants, herbs and seasonal colour.
Alongside the course, the students also volunteered and began working on Home Farm with Sam Jones, which will operate from the site, growing micro greens both for use in the bakery and to be sold commercially.
On 28th February and 1st March 2017, Power to Change and Homebaked brought together a contingent of community organisations from across the UK and Europe to share their experiences of operating community businesses at different stages of their journey.
Power to Change is an independent charitable trust, whose funding is used to strengthen community businesses across England. The Learning Grant is the first initiative of the Empowering Places programme - a targeted funding and support programme which focuses its efforts on specific neighbourhoods to nurture community business potential. This event marked the mid-way point of the Learning Grant Programme.
When we saw the tender for the delivery of the event last November, we applied with a proposal for the kind of event that we, as people working within a community business, would feel excited to go to.
Our aim was to create an event that addresses everyone involved as a learner and an expert, where the critical friends, storytellers and facilitators stay for the entire event to share their experience, where people get to listen to stories and tell their own, where we share hands-on knowledge, challenges and ideas gained from our day-to-day work and have lots of informal time to have conversations, create lasting relationships with our peers and - not to forget - eat good food and have a dance.
We made sure all the provision for the event from transport and food to the venue, was run and serviced by local community or social businesses, thus trialling a live example of community partnerships and social supply chain in action.
We collaborated with the team behind Ethos magazine with the aspiration to create a 'learning document' that is full of resources; a captivating read and looks so good you want to keep it on your mantelpiece for people to find (and take).
But most importantly we wanted to create the opportunity for the participants to have some time to reflect and gain a fresh perspective on their place and their work, feel nurtured by the knowledge that they are part of a wider network and go home with renewed energy for delivering change in their community.
We know from the feedback received that our event was very much appreciated, and we want to thank all attendees for the incredible genero sity with which they approached each other and the format. We learned so much from you all.
A big thank you to Power to Change for putting its trust in us and for all the support along the way. Of course we would love to do this kind of thing ourselves again, iron out some kinks and try out some new things.
But actually, what we want the most is for learning to be delivered more often on a grassroots level and for more organisations like ours to take the opportunity to create the kind of event that they would like to go to. So, see you next time in Sheffield or Luton or Rostanga. We are looking forward to it.
Text taken from People Power, the learning document produced in partnership with Ethos Magazine. See more at www.ethos-magazine.com
-1 It was a very crisp morning on Saturday, and a familiar face was already there waiting outside the bakery. Arthur, one of our regulars, was volunteering that day to help do some work in the garden, and not long after I had opened up, Stephan and Nicky had arrived to start their day.
Though it was cold, everyone was in great spirits. A good, typical day for Homebaked.
Myself and Rob, our volunteer co-ordinator, were heading down to the Baltic Triangle, to man our stall at Hobo Bazaar Fleamarket. It was Rob’s first event, and as we were packing the car with bread, scones and pies, he was telling me how excited he was to take part in it. Having known of Hobo Bazaar and the unique vintage fairs they put on for a while, so was I!
We like telling stories here at Homebaked. In their purest sense, stories are something nice to share with friends and family - fond bits of nostalgia and anecdotes, cautionary tales or funny memories. Taking it a bit deeper than that, stories are what keep us going, keep us alive; if the stories keep being told that is.
Last night's Cake Club ended up being a very memorable one, and I think a lot of that was to do with the theme - "Cakes With A Story".
Having worked our stall at the Momentum Conference (see our twitter for more on this!) during the day, and, admittedly, not being that much of a baker, I didn't bring a cake, or a story, but I felt very welcomed by familiar faces of some of Cake Club ladies - both Graces, Diana, Cathy, Sue, and Hannah.
As part of our Return of the Thing at the Rec event, we had our first Homecinema showing. Organised by Matt, who is the brother of our volunteer Beth, it was a fabulous event and one we're going to be doing again in the future.
Matt is a student and has a keen interest in film, and the choices of "Grease" and "Pride" were his.
Not only were we showing Grease, but it was the singalong version as well, and we had all-American style beers and popcorn for sale before the picture started, as well as the option for you to get 50s style hair and makeup done.
Hello everyone! It's been a while, hasn't it?
I'm sorry for the delay in new posts, but we've been really busy at Homebaked. From events, to markets, to just general hustle & bustle at the cafe, there's been plenty going on.
As you probably know, we held our second event on the rec - The Return of the Thing at the Rec - and it was spread across four days this time, instead of one. As so much happened, I'll be breaking up the blog posts and sharing them with you individually instead, so you can really get a feel for what went on - or, have a nice reminder, if you were there!
One Sunday, the rec was the setting for a wonderful high tea event. We were busy preparing everything in the Homebaked kitchen, ready to start serving our lovely neighbours at 2pm.
Event season is upon is, what with The Return of The Thing At The Rec coming soon (10th - 17th July) and Homebaked appearing at several markets during the summer.
At the end of April, myself and Britt were in Germany for the InTransit conference.
Located in Erfurt, a town a train's ride away from Berlin, the conference was set up for local initiatives like ourselves to come and meet together with similar projects and share our knowledge and experience. There were organisations from all across Europe attending, and it was a real privilege to be part of the event.
THE RETURN OF THE THING ON THE REC - a local summer festival on the old recreation ground behind Homebaked bakery.
10 - 17 July 2016
The Thing on the Rec is back with a series of events, featuring outdoor cinema screenings, the great North Liverpool Bake-Off, crazy golf and great food. See full programme here.
On Thursday night, we hosted a team of local young people, as well as some architecture students from John Moores University and their tutor, Jo Hudson, for a tour of the Anfield area and an evening of discussion of what the ingredients for a good place to live for young people would be.
I think everyone in Liverpool has been affected by Hillsborough, one way or another. Everyone has a connection in some way, whether they were there, knew someone who was, or tragically lost somebody they held dear.
My dad and my sister were both there that day in '89. Thankfully, they returned home safely, and they have been very loyal to the memory of the 96 since, and for their justice too. We were so, so lucky, yet so many families weren't.
We remember them all today - the 96, and their loved ones left behind. But it isn't a day all about sadness, it's also a day of fond memories, of friendship, family, love and above all, hope.
We had another engaging Design Meeting earlier this month, on the 15th. Apologies for the delay in getting this report out to you, but we have lots of photos this time round from Britt, to make up for it!
We were very happy to have Charlotte Cassedanne and her film crew from Power to Change at the bakery last Thursday.
They were in to film a little "behind the scenes" footage of us making pies, and to do a few interviews, regarding the Power to Change grant we've been awarded.
We're happy to announce that our Community Baking Workshops are back on again!
Last night, we held a guinea pig session for staff and volunteers. It was hosted by one of our talented bakers, Luca, with facilitation and photographs by board member Pat.
I can guarantee that a lot of fun was had by all, and we're very excited for the next ones!
See for yourself!
On Tuesday evening, we held another of our Build Your Own High Street workshops at Homebaked.
As these workshops have been going on for a while now, we're really getting down to the nitty-gritty about choosing a definitive design for the block.
It's been a busy few weeks at Homebaked, as we've had many matches on, and a lot of new things up for grabs!
For those who have been following our Design Team workshops, you'll be familiar with Architectural Emporium already. For those who aren't, they are the local architects who we are working directly with on our "Build Your Own High Street" project.
Yesterday, we visited their offices in Hope Street, to talk a little more about the scheme, the materials we're hoping to use, and to have a short walking tour around the surrounding area.
On the 19th of January, we hosted an evening with Hemingway Design at Homebaked.
Hemingway Design are, quoted from their website, "a multi-disciplinary team, our diverse and high-profile client list reflects the strength of talent behind HemingwayDesign. Over 30 years' experience has seen us collaborate with the likes of Sainsbury's, John Lewis, Coca-Cola, The National Trust, B&Q, eBay and Royal Mail, to name a few."
Heading the evening was Wayne Hemingway.
I apologise for the lack of updates to the blog - I mean, the last one was last year!
(Terrible joke. I apologise for that too.)
On Saturday 12th December, we hosted The Thing On The Rec: A real Local Christmas.
It was an event we'd been planning for a while, and, despite the rain and bad weather, it was a wonderful day!
As often is the case with these things, it's hard to really sum up in words how it was to be there, to pin down the atmosphere and the overall warm (again, despite the weather!) festive, community feeling that came alongside.
So, I'll let these photos do the majority of the talking - this time provided by a mixture of people, our very own Mark Loudon (http://markloudon.com/photography/), Ronnie Hughes of A Sense of Place (https://asenseofplaceblog.wordpress.com/) and my young nephew Jamie's own unique take on the event.
We had an early Christmas at Homebaked with Cake Club on Monday night.
The theme was 'Christmas presents', and, as usual with Cake Club, this could be interpreted in any way. So, bakes that could be given as presents, or present-themed bakes, and so on.
The regulars showed up, along with a few new faces - a lovely couple from Italy joined us and brought delicious pannatone. Also present was Lisa Phillips, a photography student who has popped in to the bakery a few times to take some photos. These photos are by her (minus the two Instagram photos of the bakes, which are mine!), and if you want to see more of her work, here is her website: http://www.lisaphillipsphotography.co.uk/
The tour is run by a good friend of Homebaked, Peter Carney. We were picked up at the bakery, then off to the Shankly Hotel to gather together the rest of the tourgoers, a group of fans from Norway.
It's only Monday, but so much has been going on at Homebaked, I thought it best to write a little update now!
Last week, we were hosts to patrons of the annual Locality conference, which was held in St. George's Hall.
Visitors from Locality popped into Homebaked to hear a talk given by Britt about the bakery and our humble beginnings, and to learn a little more about what we do as a business.
Last Monday, we had another Cake Club meeting at Homebaked.
Unfortunately, I couldn't be there this time, but Grace informs me that it was another excellent evening of delicious treats!
Here are some photos to prove it!
Outside in the foggy stillness of Monday night, Anfield looked almost eerie with the (sadly) familiar sight of derelict buildings and cranes piercing the skies.
However, inside the walls of Homebaked, there was a decidedly friendlier atmosphere, and a feeling of revolution...
A little later than scheduled, here's what we got up to during Halloween at Homebaked!
We had quite a few events on in the week to come, not to mention the match, but Nicola (one of our new members of staff, who you will soon be seeing behind the counter!) and I decided to dress up a little and play some spooky tunes while working on pies and sausage rolls!
It's been a little while since the last Slice of Life, and as there's been a lot going on at Homebaked, and a lot still to come this week with another match, what better time to update?
As you no doubt know, Liverpool fans have been struck down with Klopp Fever as Jurgen Klopp took the reigns as the club's new manager.
To celebrate, and due to popular demand, we had a special Klopp themed menu on this week for the match.
Our Klopppie and Kloppage Rolls were developed by another German, our own chef Stefan, and are a delicious alternative to the usual match time array of Shankly, Scouse and Mushroom Stroganoff, if you fancied celebrating the (hopeful) turnaround with the club as well!
The Klopppie is a gorgeous mixture of peppered steak, capers, gherkins, potato and German beer and the Kloppage roll (named by one of our regulars - thank you!) is bratwurst sausage, honey and mustard.
Demand for these has been so high we've had a lot of interest and coverage from the press, including the Liverpool Echo, who posted an article about the new menu (and us in general) on their online newspaper:http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/whats-on/klopp-pies-kloppage-rolls-menu-10310652
Liverpool FC's Official Magazine did a nice article about us in their latest magazine.
Click the image for full size.
A busy time for all involved at Homebaked now that the matches are back!
We were open last night for Liverpool vs Carlisle, and though the game itself wasn't quite up to scratch, our delicious pies did not disappoint if these smiles are anything to go by! :)
Alright, so it's not quite as impressive as 80, but still a very lovely turnout at August's Cake Club!
The theme was 'Cakes From Around The World', and it proved an inspiring one for all involved, as we had a very wide selection of delicious global treats!
On 30th July, we had another workshop at Homebaked for the 'Build Your Own High Street' project, but with a bit of a difference.
This one was a presentation and practical workshop, presented by Stephen Hill, who is involved with the CLT Network and also has worked in the past with Granby Fourstreets. The talk was accompanied by a slideshow and various case studies.
As you may already know from our Facebook and Twitter, Homebaked was at Granby St Market again last Saturday!
Though it was a rainy day, that didn't dampen our spirits and it was a successful and good day out for all involved.
I wasn't there, but I've heard from Pat and Sally-Anne, who were, that it was a great day, as we've all come to expect from Granby St, with plenty to see and do.
The photos speak for themselves:
Today, Homebaked was at the Out Of The Blue festival in Everton park.
It was a sunny day filled with, well, a lot of interesting stuff, really!
We were there with two stalls - our bakery stall, selling our delicious pies, cakes and bread, manned by Pat and Cathy, and the CLT stall, manned by myself and Peter. There, we told people about our 'Build Your Own High Street' project and took down email addresses for the mailing list, as well as your memories of Anfield, and thoughts for the future.
It was a successful, and very fun day, all in all, but rather than drown you with words, I think I'll let the photos do the majority of the talking this time!
If you've been following our progress on our "Build Your Own High Street" journey, you'll know that we've started the official design meetings with our chosen architects now.
We had our first meeting last month, and on Tuesday 29th June, we had this one.
It began with Architectural Emporium introducing the meeting. Present were Toby and Luke.
Luke explained to us how, even though this is a long-term project, we must start making decisions soon.
"We need to be as real as possible," he explained, "with realistic options, such as gathering numbers together and looking at our housing mix. This is so we can create a solid business plan."
You may remember, but the business plan is vital as that is what we have to present to the council before we can get their agreement to us physically going ahead with our plans and ideas.
It's been a while since the last 'Slice of Life' update!
I'm sorry about that everyone, but there's plenty still going on at Homebaked, as always!
We've been adding some lovely Summer food to our menu, such as the delicious Pear and Chocolate and Peach and Almond (seen above) tarts. They're a fabulous treat on a hot day, especially with a dash of cream!
On Tuesday 9th June, we had the first of our intensive workshops with Architectural Emporium, follow-ups to our first three initial "Build Your Own High Street" sessions.
This first workshop involved Luke, Andy and Toby of Architectural Emporium working with us and guiding us through some of the more complicated processes.
To begin with, they re-introduced themselves and explained how though this is a 'structured agenda', for the time-being we are coming up with ideas. These ideas aren't set in stone, and can (most likely will) change during the process.
The agenda of the evening was as follows;
-An exercise in which we introduce ourselves and share a photograph we've brought which we feel signifies the importance of "home".
-Looking at the design process for the next few months.
-Having a look at some polaroid photos A.E had brought of possible designs and features we might use on our high street, and placing them on our "Favourites Wall", in order of preference.
-Massing Studies (presentation of ideas in grid form, i.e: the retail to residential buildings ratio, where does Homebaked come in?)
-Organisation of our team.
As you may have already gathered from our Twitter and Facebook feeds, Homebaked had a stall at the wonderful Granby Street Market today.
According to their own Facebook page, the Granby Street Market is "Liverpool's most original and friendly community market, outside our own homes." and they're on the first Saturday of every month.
On Sunday 24th May, myself and a number of others took part on the North End Picaresque: A Migrant Tale of Self-Discovery walk.
I think I'd be better letting the North End Picaresque website describe it for you:
"North End Picaresque is a migrant tale of self-discovery taking place in the form of a walking audio journey that unfolds through the landscape from Everton to Tuebrook and is inspired by the picaresque novel The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha a Spanish novel published in 1605 by Miguel de Cervantes.
This original journey has been conceived by link Lorena Rivero de Beerand link Mark Loudonas the starting point from which to develop a new way of mapping North Liverpool through a migrant perspectives. The project will be followed by the creation of a series of audio journeys developed by different communities that intend to reflect the multiple stories and complex ways through which migrants living in North Liverpool make sense of the area."
If you've been following this blog lately, you'll notice that most of the posts are about the "Build Your Own High Street" workshops we've been having. This one is no exception - on Tuesday 19th May, we had the third of these workshops at Homebaked, and it's a project that we are all feeling very excited about.
If you've been following us on our journey with the CLT in choosing an architect for our 'Build Your Own High Street' project, then I apologise first and foremost for this being the first of our updates without any photographs!
Tonight (May 11th), we met up again to discuss our shortlisted architects and come to a decision about who we would like to move forward with.
This meeting came after the road trip to Leeds to see Lilac Design. I wasn't at this event, but Ronnie Hughes (who works with the Granby Four Streets CLT and is involved with us too) was, and wrote up an article about one of the places visited on his blog, A Sense of Place:https://asenseofplaceblog.wordpress.com/2015/05/10/an-oasis-in-leeds/At tonight's discussion, we looked at the proposals from each of our shortlisted teams and spoke with each other about what we thought. Though there were points we liked about each architect, we looked at their proposals from every important angle - what can they offer us, do they understand our needs, how could their work translate to our community in Anfield?
Then, we went round as a group and spoke individually about our opinions. The debate was an interesting one, though we were leaning towards one candidate more than others.
(One of the reigning themes of the night was the idea of experience vs the willingness to learn. While one team may have a lot of experience behind them, would we not want to give a newer, local company the chance to develop and go on this journey with us? We also wanted to choose the candidate who was the most 'hungry' for this project, somebody who would want to strive to do well because it's just as important to them as it is to us, rather than the idea of 'just another project'.)
As a group, and after much discussion, we eventually and unanimously arrived at a favoured candidate and will now be having detailed discussions with them to sort out a firm agreement between us.
We went for them because they are keen on what we want to do and we all feel we will enjoy working with them.
(While they don't have as much experience in residential work, they have worked on a lot of shops in the past, and this is something we want to look at as well for our community.)
They are also Liverpool based. Community is very important to us, as we keep stressing! So decided, much else about the candidates being equal, that it would make sense for us to work with somebody who knows the area, and is close at hand when we need them.
I personally left the meeting feeling confident in our decision (I had felt positive about them since the initial interviews, if I'm honest) and with a sense of excitement and pride about the project to come.
On Tuesday evening, we had the second of our 'Build Your Own High Street' workshops.
To recap, these sessions are a chance for people in the community to come along and have their say regarding what is to be done with the land just next to Homebaked. Liverpool City Council have decided that the houses just next to the bakery are to be demolished, so we have formed a Community Land Trust to come up with ideas from the community for what could replace these houses. The Council want to have shops or work units on the ground floor, with new homes above them. This is why what we're all doing together is like building our own high street!
We'll soon be appointing the architects to work with us on turning the community's ideas into reality and another purpose of these workshops is to skill us all up so the work on this project can truly said to be community led!
There's one more workshop to go, as well as a road trip (more details as you read on!), and so far, they've been very successful with plenty of you coming along and sharing fantastic ideas.
I was there last night to note down those ideas and to help serve tea, coffee and, of course, the promised and much-loved pies!
Some of you are already aware that we now have a monthly Cake Club event on at Homebaked, courtesy of one of our volunteers, Grace.
I've been to both so far, and last night, I took my camera along to share it with you and speak to Grace a little more about why she set up Cake Club in the first place.
The first of three "Build Your Own High Street" workshops was last Thursday evening. If you follow us on Facebook or Twitter, or are familiar with the work of the CLT, you'll have heard about this already.
If not, these workshops are for local people to come and have their own say regarding the future of our block and part of our high street.
I wrote about our architect interviews in an earlier piece, and these workshops are a continuation of that. We have the possibility to do something positive with the block, and these workshops are a way to gather together ideas, see what we all want and start on the process of developing parts of our high street in community ownership.
Basically, the workshops are a chance for people in the community to become developers and the clients in the design process, and co-create our area, because after all: we're the ones who will be living and working here.
I know nothing about architecture, but that's the beauty of these workshops. You don't have to be an expert in the field to know what a good community looks and, perhaps even more importantly, feels like.
I'll be writing about all three of these workshops, for those who couldn't make it, but if you are interested, please do try to make it along to one as they're very informative, a lot of fun, and, there are plenty of pies to go around.
During my lunch today, I was discussing last night's Community Land Trust event with Britt. I'm sure a lot of you know Britt (Jurgensen), as she's very involved with the CLT and the Open Design Meetings events.
(There was one of these events last night, and I'll be writing up a thorough report about it. If you're curious about them, there are more coming up in May. The details are on link Facebook.)
Having been brought up and still firmly rooted in Anfield myself, I had a lot to bring to the table about what I'd like to see from the new development. However, rather than just share those views with you, Britt suggested that it might be nice for me to tell you a bit about my own background first.
I was born in 1985, and I've lived in Anfield ever since. I lived in Lothair Road for 28 years.
One of my favourite things about Homebaked is our lovely, home-made fresh bread.
It's courtesy of Jess, our baker, who takes great pride in the work she does. I'm sure you'll agree it pays off.
I spoke to her about her experiences and what goes into our delicious loaves.
We'd like to wish you all a very Happy Easter, and hope that you enjoy yourselves, whatever you do today!
Also, a huge thank you to everybody who donated an Easter Egg to the Liverpool Homeless Football Club appeal - the children have their eggs now and were very happy with them all!
It's lovely to see how many people came together to donate for such a worthy cause - so many eggs!
On Wednesday, we had the pleasure of welcoming the Choose Freedom group and the Whitechapel centre come in for some drinks and goodies after one of their bike rides together.
It's always great when the cafe is lively and full of friendly faces (as it very often is!), and they kindly posed for this photo for us to remind you that we are still collecting Easter eggs for the Liverpool Homeless Football Club appeal (https://www.facebook.com/liverpoolhomelessfootballclub).
We've had loads of eggs donated already, and from the looks of our twitter feed, there will be plenty more to come this weekend - thank you all very much, as it's such a worthy cause and will make a lot of local children happy this Easter!
On Friday night, we had an Easter Chocolates event on, courtesy of Trinity Church Everton - "Get the Easter celebrations started by joining us to make some Easter chocolates and hear some great news. The event is free, open to all ages, and hot drinks will be provided."
Unfortunately, I couldn't make it to the event personally, but I was there as they were setting up and it looked like it was going to be a lot of fun!
Did any of you go?
They're hosting some other fun events over the Easter holidays - if you're interested, there's plenty more info on their website:http://www.trinitychurcheverton.org/easter-2015/Helping out there was Grace, also one of our volunteers, who will be running a new event at the bakery - Cake Club.
It's been another busy week for us at Homebaked, topped off today with the match between Liverpool and Manchester United.
The bakery was heaving today with plenty of football fans, eager to get some good food before the game.
We had our usual pies on today, as well as newcomer Mushroom Stroganoff - which has been a big hit with staff and customers alike!
As you may have seen on Twitter or Facebook, we're helping out Liverpool Homeless FC (https://twitter.com/livhomelessfc) with their Easter Egg Appeal.
Today is Pi Day. It's to celebrate mathematics and the theory of pi (the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter).
However, at Homebaked, it's always a different kind of pie day every day, but we're talking the tasty pastry variety...
It's been another busy week at Homebaked, with more events and another match on the way tomorrow afternoon!
On Monday, we hosted a visit from the students of the Scale Up course, courtesy of the School of Social Entrepreneurs.
Welcome to the first edition of 'A Slice Of Life', our new weekly update, bringing you a little bit of news each week from Homebaked!
This week has been a busy one, with plenty of events to keep our customers happy and our community thriving.
Monday evening saw the second part of our architect interviews, which we talked about in an earlier post.
Yesterday, we had a course on, with the help of link Liverpool Cake Co!
Our dedicated team of students were in making brownies & blondies, and they each did a terrific job.
Some of you may have read Ronnie Hughes' original post about our link Community Land Trust, and our open events to invite people to join the process of designing the Homebaked development. We have managed to save the bakery from demolishment, but there is nothing we can do about the adjacent row of houses. Planning requirements foresee three storeys and shops on the bottom. We want to build a community-led and owned development here with the bakery at the heart, with a nod to the past and a bold step into the future! The council have asked us to come up with a 'scheme of significant merit'. And so we are inviting more people from the neighbourhood in to help us define what that means. What do we care about? What do we need? What do we want?
On Monday, we invited several architects to come in and speak to us about what they feel they could bring to working with us, and what this place, and Homebaked, means to them.
My last year was a pretty pivotal time for me.
I'd just become unemployed, after four years working behind the counter of a video games store, and I was looking for a fresh start.
Little did I know 'fresh' meant literally that – loaves of fresh bread baking away in the ovens, while friendly faces come by every day for their much-loved, famous Homebaked pies, with fresh ingredients.
After working in strict retail for many years before, leaping right into something completely new and different was just the boost I had been looking for.
Before working at Homebaked, I was doing the usual thing people do when they're unemployed, I suppose. The obvious looking for work, and then another one, which is done quite subtly – soaking in information from various forms of media, reading books, watching TV, going to the movies.
At heart, I'm a very creative person, and my 'time off', if you like, gave me the chance to rekindle my love of writing and of art.
I realised after a couple of weeks of doing this that my next career move would have to be one which would fit in nicely with this new, very productive lifestyle. I also knew I wanted a change from basic shop work.
Homebaked matched these ideals just like a cup of tea is perfectly matched with a slice of cake.
I heard about Homebaked first through the job advertisement, and straight away I knew I'd feel at home there. For one, I live the proverbial stone's throw away from the bakery, so transport wouldn't be an issue. Also, the bakery is somewhere that was already close to my heart.
Having lived in Anfield all my life, the building is one that is very familiar to me. I used to go to Mitchell's Bakery after school to grab a cat-shaped meringue before doing my homework.
Everything about it just felt right.
I am beyond thankful that I was given the opportunity to work at Homebaked. Never before have I felt so at home and so happy to be in a role, nor have I known such friendly staff and volunteers.
I had the tiniest of doubts at first, having never worked at a cafe before, but I was very quickly made to feel like part of the family, and discovered that being at Homebaked means you learn as you go on. That's just how we do things here. Everybody has their place and importance, and, if something is difficult, there's always somebody else to turn to, or someone who you can impart your own advice to.
It's not just the staff and volunteers who see results – Homebaked is a Social Enterprise, meaning everything we do goes back into benefiting the community.
As somebody who has seen Anfield's unfortunate decline in the past six years, it's truly wonderful to see it on the up again, thanks to places like Homebaked and the incredible community we've built up, and will continue to build up – piece by piece.
Right now, we're a bit of a diamond in the rough, but the proof really is in the pudding. If we all carry on working hard together, Anfield will thrive once again.
Places like Homebaked really do benefit the community. Whether its providing fresh bread and produce to our loyal local customers, to giving tourists and football fans somewhere unique and inviting to visit when in Anfield, or, from a personal point of view, presenting somebody with a fantastic new chapter in their life.
I'm excited to be on board with this new chapter in my time at Homebaked, as your blog writer. It's an honour, and I'll be sharing more of my own personal story in future posts. I'll also be writing about Anfield's community in general, and talking about what it was like to grow up here, and see it change - hopefully now, for the better!
If there is anything you would like to see me cover, do not hesitate to get in touch. We at Homebaked are always open to ideas and creative collaborations!
Homebaked will be closed for refurbishments 16th-30th June. We apologise for any inconvenience caused by the closure.
When we reopen we will have a much bigger kitchen and a community room.
Keep your eyes peeled for news of workshops and classes in the near future!
Hello there, and welcome back to Homebaked’s blog!
Spring sprung and now the air has warmed up into summer Homebaked is continuing to make strides.
This week has seen the launch of the Homebaked Afternoon Teas: a glorious assortment of cut sandwiches, Homebaked mini pies, scones and your choice of tea or coffee. It is a snip at only £ 7.50 for two to share! They will be available every Monday and Tuesday from 2pm to 4pm, or if you book ahead with 48 hours notice it could be yours at a time that suits you!
The lovely and talented students at North Liverpool Academy have been helping us to develop a Homebaked Summer Picnic Pie, and we are all looking forward sampling that delight ASAP!
Speaking of summers and picnics, our good friends at Independent Liverpool have organised Liverpool Independents Day on Friday the 4th of July. There will be special offers and fun stuff happening all over the city. The deals will be even better if you get yourself a Independent Liverpool Card ( link http://independent-liverpool.co.uk/the-card/) and you also help support independent local businesses!
Homebaked will be celebrating Liverpool Independents Day with some some traditional summer fare (and I am hoping for bunting in the shop!), great deals on food and some surprises! Keep yourself up-to-date with all the goings on by following us on Twitter ( >https://twitter.com/HomebakedA) and liking us on Facebook ( >https://www.facebook.com/HomebakedA).
A little heads-up: on Friday 11th of July, Homebaked is hosting a Future Farmers ( link http://www.futurefarmers.com) event and the cafe will be closed to the public. However, Homebaked’s Pie Hole on Donaldson Street will be open and selling your favourite bread and cakes!
Until next time!
This will be the space for news, stories, opportunities and special offers.
We opened for the West Brom game on the 26th of October 2013 and since then we have been mad busy developing great a range of breads, pies and cakes as well as a café menu.
Homebaked consists of a small, yet perfectly formed, team of staff supported by extraordinary volunteers and remarkable board members. We have had great support from some amazingly generous people and we salute all of you! You can read more about how Homebaked has come to be on this website.
We are just about to move into the next phase of development and there are some very exciting things in the pipeline. In June our kitchen is being extended so that we can accommodate classes and workshops and the shop front is getting a facelift too.
If you want up-to-minute news on what we are making, please follow us on link Twitterand like us on link Facebook.
Most of all, please come and see us!