Homebaked: Building a community bakery…with books too!

If there’s one thing we love as much as great literature at The Reader Organisation, it’s great food – if anything rivals the smell of new books, then it’s the smell of freshly baked bread. Food is one of the things in life that can really unite communities in the sharing of something fundamentally good for us, bringing people together in a very similar way that sharing reading does (and no Get Into Reading group would be complete without something to munch on!)

A local community-owned bakery not too far from our HQ in Liverpool is helping to put good, home baking back into the heart of Anfield. Homebaked, situated by Liverpool Football Ground, was formerly Mitchell’s Bakery and was one of the last remaining independent amenities in the area until it closed in 2010. Now the bread is set to rise again, as a group of residents have turned it into a community-owned business and self-build housing project. With the support of artist Jeanne van Heeswjik, Homebaked has become an integral part of the 2Up2Down project, which has created a new vision for the area, refurbishing the bakery and two adjacent houses.

Yet Homebaked is much more than just a business – it will be a meeting place at the heart of the community, offering baking sessions, apprenticeships and training, as well as lots of yummy food that will be served straight on the street to those football fans enjoying a day at the match. Plus, it’s also a place where reading is shared as well as bread – since September, we’ve been running a weekly ‘Books at the Bakery‘ group at Homebaked, bringing reading aloud to feed the heart and soul.

Currently, Homebaked are raising money to buy a much-needed new oven to sustain the project and keep the good food and good service coming. They’re crowdsourcing donations through Kickstarter for the oven that will be the heart of Anfield, and a couple of nights ago were featured on Granada Reports (those of you watching on the TV may have noticed the familiar face of our very own Jane Davis outside Anfield…). As a special Christmas treat, those who donate before 25th December will receive a festive PDF from Homebaked.

Let’s keep the ovens burning – and books sharing!

Books at the Bakery runs weekly, Tuesdays from 10.30am-12pm at Homebaked, 197-199 Oakfield Road, L4 0UF. For more information, contact Roisin on roisinhyland@thereader.org.uk or call 0151 207 7207 – or turn up in the New Year!

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