Nottingham's Urban Stone Mill

by Kimberley Bell, Emilie Lowen and Emma Shires in Nottingham, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 23rd September 2021 we successfully raised £21,921 with 337 supporters in 28 days

We are Nottingham Mill Cooperative raising funds to buy a small, modern stone mill to sit in the window of a city centre shop & bakery

by Kimberley Bell, Emilie Lowen and Emma Shires in Nottingham, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

We are thrilled that we have been supported by so many people to raise a huge £10,000 which will support us in buying and setting up the essential infrastructure that we need to start milling.

Our stretch target is £17,000. It would give us a great start in delivering our vision for the Coop; in generating the most impact that we can quickly. It would help us towards:

  • Configuring and setting up the space in the best way we can; to make it safer but also mean that we can have more workshops for other potential millers. 
  • Starting a small training budget for both us and other millers who might join us. 
  • Establishing the Coop formally and creating a small budget for seed for new enterprises within the Coop. 
  • Buying some packing equipment ensuring that the shops around the city have access to our flour. 

About us

We are two bakers and a miller setting up a Mill Cooperative in Nottingham. We are part of a movement called UK Grain Lab - a group of people pushing forward to localise and humanise the economics of grains. 

Emilie is a baker, setting up her own bakery in Sneinton Market in Nottingham City Centre. Kimberley is a baker and owner of Small Food Bakery, on the other side of the city centre. Emma is an engineer and miller.

Together, we are raising funds to buy a small, modern, working stone mill that will be placed right in the window of a Nottingham City Centre bakery in Sneinton Market. 

We want everyone to see how flour and bread is made from grain.

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Why do we want to bring an urban mill to Nottingham?

Over the years we have seen the commodification of grains and the removal of processing and production of food from the areas that we live. Historically, there were many working mills in Nottingham, serving a much smaller city, now we only have 1.

Small-scale food systems are where businesses and consumers buy their food directly from growers and producers rather than large corporations. We believe that these localised and human-scale systems produce food that is more delicious, more diverse, and healthier for us, whilst regenerating the environment, bringing communities together, and creating opportunities for meaningful work. 

Bread is such an essential food and The Mill, as a shared infrastructure for Nottingham, will be the anchor point for telling its story. 

The Mill will enable us to buy grain direct from, and establish long-term relationships with farmers. By all working closely together we will be able to thrive as well as grow the network of farmers, millers, and bakers in Nottingham. We love visiting the amazing farmers who grow the grain destined for our bakeries and we can't wait to share their stories with you too. 

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The Mill and our Target

Below is our stone mill! The Mill is also coming with a sifter (on the left) and an air hammer for maintenance and will be shipped all the way from Vermont, USA. We have raised more than half the cost of the mill between us and our £10,000 target will help us to finish paying for the mill as well as buy some of the essential infrastructure that we need to get up and running. The chart below details how we will spend the money. 

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Further Reading

The amazing work of localised grain economies is too big of a topic to give justice to here, but if you'd like to read more then the links below offer a wealth of information:

  • http://www.smallfoodbakery.com/
  • https://www.ukgrainlab.com/
  • https://farmerama.co/category/cereal/
  • http://www.bicga.org.uk/

Thank you so much for reading, we can't wait to share with you The Mill, the flour, and the bread!

Kimberley, Emilie & Emma

Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation

£10 or more

"Whose bread is this?" Badge

An embroidered badge featuring the UK Grain Lab Slogan "Whose Bread is this?" You can sew it on to your apron/ bag/ hat

£10 or more

Big Bread Voucher

An impressively large celebration bread for a special occasion, with your name or initials stenciled, from Small Food Bakery or Ambigu Bakery to request when you have the occasion.

£10 or more

Freshly Milled Flour and Recipe

A 1kg bag of the first fresh milled flour from The Mill and a special recipe to bake with it.

£25 or more

6 of 20 claimed

Walk in the Wheat - 1 Ticket

One ticket to visit one of our partner farms to walk in the wheat fields destined for The Mill. We will learn about how the grains are grown and then enjoy some delicious food made with last year's harvest.

£25 or more

Limited-edition bag

A limited-edition bag designed by a local designer featuring The UK Grain Lab slogan "Whose bread is this?". Can be posted anywhere in the world.

£30 or more

Limited-edition t-shirt

A limited-edition t-shirt designed by a local designer featuring The UK Grain Lab slogan "Whose bread is this?". Posted anywhere in the world.

£80 or more

Population Loaf Workshop

Spend the day learning about how to make Small Food Bakery's delicious population loaf - a wholemeal, soft sandwich loaf with YQ wheat, honey and olive oil. Enjoy a delicious lunch too.

£100 or more

3 of 15 claimed

Freshly Milled Flour Workshop (2-3hours)

Spend 2-3 hours at Ambigu bakery finding out what you can make with freshly milled flour and the flavour power that comes with it! Enjoy a delicious lunch too.

£100 or more

6 of 12 claimed

Wheat and flour tasting

An exploration of your senses while tasting different wheats in many different forms! Wheat and flour tasting at Ambigu Bakery lead by a Sensory Scientist. Discover flavours in grains, and enjoy a nostalgic journey through food memories and shared stories. Its quite a wonderful experience. We will also show you how The Mill works and have a special lunch made with the freshly milled flours!

£200 or more

Patron of Nottingham Mill Coop

Your name, or the name of your business permanently sign written in the window beside The Mill, showing you as a supporter of the project. Be remembered in history for backing the idea of local food from the grass roots. You will also get a badge and an invitation to the unveiling / first milling ceremony.

£250 or more

10 of 12 claimed

Freshly Milled Flour Workshop (whole day)

Spend the day at Ambigu Bakery learning about wheat, milling, baking; the beautiful flavours that come from freshly milled flour and variety of delicious things you can make with them. We will show you how The Mill works and have a special lunch. Max class size 6. (date by negotiation)

£250 or more

1 of 15 claimed

Fresh Flour for a Year

Come to the bakery every couple of weeks and receive a free bag of flour of your choice for a whole year. Chat recipes and explore the characters of beautiful grains!

£1,000 or more

1 of 3 claimed

Patron of The Mill and Candlelit Dinner for Six

Your name, or the name of your business permanently sign written in the window beside The Mill, showing you as a supporter of the project. Be remembered in history for backing the idea of local food from the grass roots. We will then cook a dinner or lunch for you and five guests to have in the candlelit mill room.

£25 or more

30 of 30 claimed

Pancakes and Introduction to the Mill

Come & join us for a weekend brunch at Ambigu Bakery for an introduction to The Mill and the grains we use. We will show you how The Mill works and make some pancakes using the fresh flour for you to try.

£35 or more

20 of 20 claimed

Walk in the Wheat - 2 Tickets

Two tickets to visit one of our partner farms to walk in the wheat fields destined for The Mill. We will learn about how the grains are grown and then enjoy some delicious food made with last year's harvest.

£1,000 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Name The Mill and Candlelit Dinner for Six

Have the exclusive honour to name our mill. We will then cook a dinner or lunch for you and five guests to have in the candlelit mill room.

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