Companio Bakery is Manchester's first Community-Supported Bakery. It's a new, innovative, independent, neighbourhood bakery which will make artisan breads, savouries and pastries - baked in the Ancoats area of Manchester in the morning - and taken by bicycle and trailer to train stations in central Manchester in the afternoon. The idea is to sell bread to people on their way home, at their convenience and at a time of day that suits them - perfect for supper and ideal for breakfast. A full range of baked products will also be available from the bakery premises in Ancoats.
What is Community-Supported Baking?
Community-Supported Baking means so much more than just going to the High Street to buy bread. For a bakery to be Community-Supported there must be a greater level of involvement and commitment. By making a pledge via Crowdfunder, you help the baker to put an artisan bakery into the heart of their community and, therefore, provide a valued resource that people can enjoy and from where they can reliably source great quality bread.
Savoury Danish with cheddar cheese, roasted red onion and wild rocket with basil or black olive and sundried tomato pesto
Plain and almond croissants
The aim with this Crowdfunder Campaign is to raise £10,000 in 4 weeks towards the following:
- Bread bike trailer £890
- Purpose-built wooden trailer box for transporting and selling bread at train stations £1985
- Bakery equipment including a deck oven and spiral mixer £2125
- Fit-out of permanent bakery premises including electricity, water and lighting £5000
This will enable Companio Bakery to get started with baking in the Ancoats area of central Manchester in June this year.
New bike trailer
New bakery premises in the Ancoats area of central Manchester
Story so far
Companio Bakery has already started baking from a temporary kitchen unit in south Manchester from March this year and selling bread at Salford Central Train Station. Business has been going extremely well with lots of positive feedback from customers and the bakery has quickly established a loyal following. I aim to start trading from Manchester Victoria Train Station in July this year.
Companio Bakery's market stall at Salford Central Train Station
I currently drive by car to the station and set up a small market stall which is not ideal but the aim is to have a purpose-built bike trailer designed so I can cycle to train stations. Transporting breads by bicycle in the city centre and selling from a bespoke trailer makes it a simple, sensible, effective and environmentally-friendly way of doing business.
Artist's impression of bread bike trailer and purpose-built wooden box
A permanent bakery unit in Ancoats has already been leased but it is an empty shell and needs fitting-out and equipping. I aim to start baking from there in June this year.
The key stages in the set-up of Companio Bakery over the next few months are as follows:
- Delivery of bread bike trailer
- Construct purpose-built wooden trailer box
- Install electricity, water and lighting in bakery premises
- Construct toilet cubicle and decorate bakery premises
- Continue to bake from temporary kitchen unit in south Manchester
- Paint floor of bakery premises
- Purchase and install deck oven, spiral mixer and dough table
- Start baking and trading from new bakery premises in Ancoats
- Start trading at Manchester Victoria Train Station
- Official Companio Bakery launch party
Companio Bakery is an innovative community business model that needs a creative form of community funding. By not relying on bank loans but instead allowing ordinary people to invest and get involved in the start-up of this business, I believe it has a greater strength and is more likely to succeed. I hope people will feel genuinely engaged with this project, I hope they understand that it would not be possible without their help and I hope they share the excitement of creating something new that ultimately belongs to them, whether they live locally or globally.
There is a shortage of quality artisan bread in Manchester leading to bread being sourced from over 100 miles away in Leicestershire and Cumbria. A city with a population of over 500,000 should have a number of artisan bakeries to choose from so Companio Bakery has been very well received in the short time it has been trading.
Here are some comments from customers at Salford Central Train Station:
"Some of the best bread I have ever tasted"
"I'm delighted and surprised to be able to buy such wonderful bread from a train station on my way home"
"It's a fascinating business model and I wish you every success"
Companio Bakery's arrival in Ancoats is eagerly anticipated too:
"It's and exciting development in an up-and-coming part of town"
"I can't wait for the smell of freshly baked breads and pastries in my neighbourhood"
My name is Russell Goodwin - I'm an artisan baker and I'm passionate about baking real bread. I've created Companio Bakery because I want to provide Manchester with high quality, slow-fermented, healthy and nutritious sourdough breads as well as tasty savoury danish and delicious patisserie - all made by hand using traditional methods and natural ingredients.
I am a trained and experienced artisan baker having completed the Advanced Diploma in Baking at the School of Artisan Food in Nottinghamshire in 2011 before going on to work as an artisan baker and director of the Handmade Bakery in Slaithwaite, West Yorkshire for 3 years gaining valuable baking and business experience.
The Handmade Bakery is a brilliant example of a thriving Community-Supported Bakery in West Yorkshire where £55,000 was raised to fit-out and equip the bakery premises in Slaithwaite. The Handmade Bakery also pioneered the selling of bread at Huddersfield Train Station which has proved to be a huge success.
I will initially run Companio Bakery as a sole trader and operate the business by myself with the help and support of family and friends. As the business develops I will be able to offer employment opportunities and will want to give volunteer placements for those interested in learning more about bread-making.
Prior to baking, I worked as a professional chef for 4 years. I trained at Ballymaloe Cookery School in County Cork, Ireland and then went on to develop skills and experience working in the kitchens of the acclaimed restaurants of Moro in London, Chez Panisse in Berkeley California and Riverford Field Kitchen in Devon.
During my time as a chef, I also worked as a Food Teacher, sharing my food experiences, skills and knowledge with children and adults alike. I studied Human Nutrition and Working with Young People at the Open University to help with this teaching.
Before entering the food industry, I worked for 15 years in the health and charitable sector, most notably helping to raise £1M for the provision of medical, welfare and support services for homeless people in Oxford.
For further details
Phone: 07765 914603
Email: [email protected]