Bakery on a roll following charity investment

After winning 10 medals (one gold, six silver and three bronze) in this year’s British Pie Awards, a community bakery in Anfield, Liverpool, has received investment from a social impact business, to fund a dedicated cookery unit to help ramp up production and meet a surge in demand for its award-winning produce.

Homebaked, a co-operative bakery and café, situated between Everton and Anfield, produces 3,000 pies and hundreds of other baked items a week. The bakery also supplies Liverpool Football Club with 700 pies per game.

First Ark Social Investment (FASI), which provides finance for social enterprises and charities, has given £61,000 to Homebaked. The investment, which is made up of a grant of £15,500 and a loan of £45,500, will go towards helping Homebaked become a larger wholesale producer, expand its café, attend more markets, create new roles and offer more volunteer placements and training courses.

The investment will enable Homebaked to:

  • Create a healthy eating course for children
  • Create a space to run regular community baking courses
  • Offer 3 permanent part-time jobs, 20 volunteer placements and 10 work placements for young people
  • For every £1 invested a social return of £20.37 will be generated

Sally-Anne Watkiss, treasurer of Homebaked, said: “Investment has given us a chance to grow, employ more people, bake more produce and more importantly re-invest in Anfield and its residents. Our prized pies are famous throughout Liverpool and if we want to continue making 3,000 a week we need the right equipment and premises to do it.

“The funding from First Ark Social Investment has made a huge difference because we need to expand our premises to cope with demand. We’re now renting an industrial space in Bootle which was previously a food business, so the right kit is already installed.

“We’ve also been able to buy extra tables, shelves, a mixer, an oven, a fridge and freezer, as we want to scale-up production and extend our café to welcome more customers.”

Leann Hearne, group chief executive of First Ark Group, said: “Homebaked is helping to bring back that sense of community in Anfield and improving access to quality food. It has become the cornerstone of the neighbourhood and not only offers delicious homemade produce but also inspires budding bakers through training courses and employs 15 local people and 30 volunteers.

“Homebaked is so much more than a bakery and a café, it’s an educational, social and training hub and does everything from teaching the community about healthy eating, to backing ongoing local community initiatives. This year it has also provided produce for ‘Fans Supporting Foodbanks’, a unique partnership between the Everton Supporters’ Trust and the Spirit of Shankly, the Liverpool Supporters Union, to tackle the foodbank shortages.”

Homebaked is renowned for its savoury pastries and varieties include the ‘Shankly’ pie made with steak, bacon, mushroom and onion, the ‘Scouse’ pie containing a beef stew and the ‘Blue’ flavoured with steak and cheese. Prices start from £2.50 and pastries are sold in the shop on Oakfield Road, on Lark Lane in Granby and in the Baltic Market.

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