Wanted: Space for Community Bakery

Hello Everyone!

I’m new here, my name is Holly and i’m a freelance baker/pastry chef. I have lived in Forest Hill for 4 years, and love our little community.

I have been thinking about starting a community bakery to produce small quantities of breads, pastries, cakes etc for collection/delivery in our local area 2/3 days a week. I work at Little Bread Pedlar in Bermondsey a few days a week (at the moment!), but I am also currently producing small amounts of bread and pastries for people in my building. If i’m to make more, I will need more space than just my tiny flat!

I am hoping that someone might be able to push me in the right direction. If you know of a space that is empty in SE23 or nearby - a shop or even a production kitchen that is now sadly unused for the foreseeable, please do get in touch.

I have the skills and more importantly the flour (!), so I hope to be able to put them to good use in these tricky times…

Hope you’re all keeping well. In the meantime, whilst i’m baking from my flat, if anyone knows anyone vulnerable or in desperate need of bread, please do let me know!

Thankyou!

Holly
Instagram - @hollyshootsandchefs

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Sounds like a lovely idea!
Would the shop need to already be equipped with a kitchen or would you bring your kit or even just the produce in?
If you just need a space, the former William Hill betting shop on Stanstead Road (next to Moon Lane Books, in the Blythe Hill area) is lying empty at the moment and would be a great location for a community bakery!
If it needs to be an existing food premises, maybe the empty former fishmongers on Perry Vale would work?
Good luck with finding somewhere!

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Hey! I think I just messaged you on the facebook page? Thanks for the advice and suppost - much appreciated x

The old bra stop next to Farr and Wyde on Dartmouth road has just come free. Might get more footfall on that road. Oh, and the ex-dentists on London Road. There’s also a few ex-takeaways vacant which might be easier re the ol’ change of use. Not sure what the status of them is through.

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I second what Audrey_Finch suggests.
good footfall and complimentary businesses on the same road.
We badly need a good bakery in FH

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Perhaps more of a short term solution but as I understand Kitchen skills on Kirkdale (so technically Sydenham) I believe has currently stopped offering cooking classes, for obvious reasons. Perhaps they can give you access to the space in the short term?
Obviously once this is over I assume they will resume their usual business but the kitchen isn’t is use 24/7 and perhaps a tie up might be possible? Think they have 4 or 5 oven stations.
Edit: another local biz people can buy vouchers for for afterwards!

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Steve and Rebecca at Kemble House recently sent out a message to us neighbours saying their kitchen /studio was available: https://www.kemblehousestudio.co.uk/

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Hi Cochrane,

I’m a sourdough homebaker! So, your idea of a Community Bakery is great, and LBP is a fantastic bakery, good to have you in the neighborhood.

What I thought is maybe a pub would be a good place to pop up in, for example the All Inn One, I know the owner and could connect you.

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Pubs are a good idea, but I understand from another thread on here that the All Inn One has had its kitchen removed.

Kitchen Skills sounds like a good solution and maybe in the long term Holly the OP and Farah the owner of Kitchen Skills could come to some arrangement to run some specialist pastry courses. I for one would love to learn to make proper Danish pastries that don’t need a side dish of Rennies!

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Thanks all for this brilliant advice, tips and support!

I’ve spent the last few days chasing some leads, so fingers crossed it all falls into place and I can be up and running before long. Please do keep the ideas coming though…

In the meantime, if anyone would like me to bake anything for birthdays/treat yourself day then let me know - cookies, cake, custard tarts etc! I am also baking focaccia from home, but still trying to work out making more sourdough in terms of my space/home setup as it’s so limited. You can message me on here or through my website www.cochranecooks.com, and I can arrange a no contact delivery for you.

Hope to feed you all soon and thanks again!
Holly x

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Beaut website! Looks you have some incredible recipes in your arsenal. Would love to support in any way I can :slight_smile:

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Thankyou @Lau

I’ve had an idea to open my own thing for a while and now seems like the perfect time to get my arse in gear now that i’ve lost my freelance work and people are in need of supplies!

The support is much appreciated x

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