Words by Smiley Team
Supplying baked goods is one mission of Hearth Bakery CIC in Hackney Wick, London – but another is its desire to build back better in a post-Brexit and post-pandemic landscape.
Launching at the end of May 2022, the social enterprise, ran by Maisie Collins, 31, has the aim to creating a working model for the food industry on how to have a viable business which can co-exist and support the ecosystems around it: the staff, the community, the planet.
“Our bakery is a registered community interest company and our social enterprise is centralised around regeneration: agricultural, social and industrial,” says Maisie.
“Staff are the most central part of any business and one of the ways we're reimagining a traditional business model is by putting their needs first. Sounds simple, right? Supporting the people who help you run your company first and foremost should be the norm.
“The real boss of this business is the staff as a collective, they will form the shareholder group, and their voices and contributions will help us organically grow. They are helping put together their own staff policy list and their mental & physical needs are being addressed on a one-to-one level with individual self-assessments.”
Secondly, they are only using regenerative farms and smaller producers, “in order to vote with our pound and support the agricultural future we want to see”. Alongside this, they will be making use of all of the ingredients, running a zero-waste and circular economy kitchen.
And finally, the main social aspect of the bakery is about training and inspiring a new generation of hospitality workers made up of unemployed young people and the long-term unemployed. “We want to give them the tools and skills to enter this industry with a good working foundation of sustainable food practices and self-care,” says Maisie.
That’s why she’s running a crowdfunding campaign, with the aim of raising £15,000 to make this happen. “Any additional funding past our goal will enable us to progress more quickly with our social aims by allowing us the funds to hire more staff and get additional equipment,” she says.
DONATE: You can support Maisie's crowdfunder reach its £15,000 goal by donating now.