Loaf is Changing

January 30, 2014 2 comments »

Shop Changes

After a successful first year on Stirchley high street Loaf has outgrown the bakery and is expanding to keep up with increasing customer demand for delicious bread & cakes. Thank you to Stirchley Stores volunteers, our customers, bread bond holders, bread club members,  our landlords, Loaf directors and staff for making this success possible. At the end of April 2014 Loaf will be taking over the shop from Stirchley Stores in order to meet our growing customer demand. The new bakery shop will be run & managed 100% by Loaf staff.

20th-25th April 2014: Shop closes for refurbishment
End April 2014: New Loaf Bakery shop opens


The new Loaf Bakery shop will sell:

Our usual selection of delicious bread & cakes
Fresh takeaway lunches & hot drinks
Specialist cookery school equipment (e.g. preserving equipment)
A limited selection of specialist cookery ingredients (e.g. 00 pasta flour, yeast)



A Special Thankyou

To Stirchley Stores volunteers for your hard work, passion & energy this year. You have brought the community together, &  proven that local people are really keen to see positive change on their high street & to see better access to healthy, affordable, & ethically sourced food. We wish you every success in moving forward with new options in the future and hope to see you continue as a co-operative in Stirchley.

Keep an eye on the Loaf website for future shop updates

How to Start a Community Bakery Course from the School of Slow

April 1, 2014 No comments »

how-to-start-a-community-bakeryOn the 22nd June we’re delighted to be hosting the ‘How to Start a Community Bakery Course’, run by our friends and inspiration for much of what we’ve done at Loaf, Dan and Johanna McTiernan.

Dan and Johanna are the co-founders of The Handmade Bakery, the first Community Supported Bakery in the UK. Launched using a subscription bakery model that enabled it to start from virtually zero capital they built a sustainable bakery which engages and enlists the local community, giving them a say in where their bread comes from and a meaningful relationship with the bakers.
Started from Dan and Johanna’s home kitchen, the bakery now has its own canal-front bakery cafe space, employs 18 people cooperatively and turns over of more than £250,000 per year. And all without ever going to a bank for a loan! Many individuals and groups throughout the UK have a similar dream to Dan and Johanna; to start up a community bakery where they live, to start a business with ethics, principles and real bread at its heart.
This 1 day course will explore setting up and running a community supported bakery. It will look at the practical, technical and community aspects of community supported baking. Tom will also contribute a bit about Loaf’s story during the day.

You can find all the details of the course and book your place on the School of Slow website.

We’re advertising two new jobs…

March 30, 2014 No comments »

We’re now advertising two new jobs for Part-time Shop and Cookery School Asisstants, over on our jobs page. The closing date for applications is noon on the  7th April . Please see the full job advert here: http://www.loafonline.co.uk/about-us/jobs/

The Guardian, Country Living Magazine & New Course Dates

March 28, 2014 No comments »

At the beginning of March, we were pleased to be featured in the April edition of Country Living magazine, and again in the Guardian on Saturday 22nd March. Celebrating Loaf Cookery School in their Country in the City section, Country Living magazine featured our Earth Oven Building course – and we sold out on places for our end of May course straight away! The Guardian featured us in their ‘Do Something’ supplement, mentioning our bread subscriber scheme, and our no waste bread policy (see photos of articles below). So, we’ve seen an additional flurry of interest, which is fantastic – taking the word about Loaf further afield. With such amazing interest, we’ve had to add new course dates to keep up with the demand. Coming up we have:


The Earth- Oven Weekend is great for both garden, food and bushcraft enthusiasts, and definitely for those that don’t mind getting their hands dirty. No experience is needed, we’ll teach you everything – just a willingness to get stuck in. You can cook practically anything in a wood-fired oven, from bread and cakes to casseroles and pizza, all with that unique smoky taste. And there really is nothing quite like it.

To find out more and to book visit: Earth-Oven Building Weekend

Join Loaf and fish expert Lap-fai Lee for a hands-on evening learning the art and science of fish preparation and cookery. This three hour workshop aims to take the fear out of fish and give you the knowledge and skills to go home and start enjoying preparing fish in your own kitchen. It’s actually pretty quick, easy and fun when you know how! Related courses include our equally fantastic Seafood Two: Shellfish course, if you fancy taking your culinary skills that extra step.

To find out more and to book visit: Seafood One: Fish

Country Living March_April 2014

Country Living, April 2014. Photo courtesy Mike Satterthwaite

Guardian 22 March 2014

Guardian, 22 March 2014. Photo courtesy @Lauralarue

Treat Yourself

March 21, 2014 No comments »

Kitchen Essentials: Illustration: www.walternewton.com

Alongside our forthcoming Forage and Cook course, we have a fantastic selection of other Loaf Cookery School courses coming up in April to whet your spring cooking appetite. Go on, treat yourself.

April 2014 Courses

Cooking Meat – Tuesday 8th April

Butchery: Perfect Poultry – Tuesday 15th April

Forage & Cook – Wednesday 16th April

Handmade Pasta  – Tuesday 22nd April (one place available)

Knife Skills – Wednesday 30th April

Why not?! Find out more here: www.loafonline.co.uk/cookeryschool or call Nancy on 0121 458 7682

Welcoming Spring – Forage & Cook

March 15, 2014 1 comment »

Forage & Cook Course with Tom Baker at Loaf. Photo: Jane Baker

With a glimpse of sun and warmth, bulbs are emerging from their winter sleep, buds are forming on hedgerows and trees, and blossom is bursting into flower. The seasons are changing and with spring come’s the first of our Forage and Cook courses for 2014.

Illustration: www.walternewton.

April: Wednesday 16th
: Tuesday 6th (one place available), Wednesday 7th (one place available)
: Tuesday 3rd, Wednesday 4th


Foraging isn’t just a countryside past-time, it can be an urban adventure too! Join us for a delightful evening wandering the urban wilds of south Birmingham in search of edible treats, before returning to Loaf HQ to turn them into some fabulous seasonal dishes. This course is aimed at those with little or no experience of foraging, and covers all the practicalities, legalities, and safety aspects of picking wild plants to eat. By the end of the evening you will be able to confidently identify several readily available wild foods, know how to properly prepare them, and be eager to get out there on your own adventure.

To find out more and to book visit: Forage & Cook

Stirchley Brewhouse THIS FRIDAY

March 12, 2014 No comments »

Stirchley Brewhouse is back THIS FRIDAY 14 March, 10am – 4pm

With another fantastic lunch menu…
* Pork braised in coconut with kaffir lime;
* Butternut squash & pecan salad with quinoa

Plus lots of cakes, brewed coffee & loose leaf tea. Free wifi.



Stirchley Brewhouse cake

Stirchley Brewhouse 14th March 2014

Comedy, Bread and a Cuppa

March 6, 2014 No comments »

Art SoakPresents… Comedy, Bread and a Cuppa

Albert Smith, Comedy Baker

Saturday 15th & Sunday 16th March 2014, 4pm at Loaf 



Albert Smith - Comedy, Bread and a Cuppa


Originally from Johannesburg, South Africa, Highgate-based Albert moved to the UK in 1996. The grandson of a baker, his first job in the UK was as a nurse but he eventually left the profession due to personal issues and health problems.  After a series of jobs including taking in people’s ironing he turned to bread-making and to the recipes of his youth, making bread to order for personal customers, small bakeries and social enterprise schemes.   Still suffering from personal confidence issues, he happened upon a ’Comedy in the Community’ workshop run by Janice Connolly of Women in Theatre (aka comedian Barbara Nice) and not only ‘found his voice’ in terms of speaking in public but realised he had an aptitude for comedy and story-telling.   His comedy act, which is a unique combination of his two loves, baking and making people laugh, is a winning formula that has already played to packed audiences at the Birmingham Comedy Festival and which may even be booked at the Arts Alive Festival  in Eldorado Park, South Africa, a stone’s throw from his family home and where he learned how to make bread from his grandfather, Frederick.

Tickets £5  http://artsforumsellyoak.wordpress.com/artsoak2014/

Call  Ox Boffice  0845 680 1926  There are no credit card or booking fee charges but additional costs apply for the production & postage of paper tickets.


image001Albert Smith - Comedy, Bread and a Cuppa

Art Soak 2014 is run by Selly Oak Constituency Arts Forum, a network of artists, arts organisations and community organisations who share a common interest in developing arts activities in their local area. The forum acts as a contact point for artists/organisations working in the constituency, and provides opportunities for artists/organisations to meet, share experiences and knowledge, and form partnerships.

Photos by Georgina Stylianou

CANEAT Pop-up Menu – THIS FRIDAY, 6.30pm

February 27, 2014 No comments »

The word is already out, but if you haven’t heard we’re holding a CANeat pop-up – THIS FRIDAY

Friday 28th February, from 6.30pm.  Takeaway.

The event will mark the end of CANeat events at Loaf as the talents behind it, Lap and Dom, move on to start their exciting new venture Clarke & Lee. We want to make their last CANeat pop-up absolutely fabulous. CANeat in it’s dining form received a 5* food review in the Birmingham Mail, so we know it’s going to be great.

So here it is. The CANeat Pop-up Menu:

Just turn up at the Loaf Cookery School door. No booking required.

Porchetta CANeat

CanEat Pop Up & Brewhouse update

February 18, 2014 No comments »

News Flash!

CANeat Grand Finale Pop-up TakeawayFriday 28th Feb, from 6.30pm. 

As you might know CANeat are going to be running a pop-up take away at Loaf HQ next Friday 28th February, from 6.30pm. The event will mark the end of canEAT events at Loaf as the talents behind it, Lap and Dom, move on to start their exciting new venture Clarke & Lee. We want to make their last CANeat pop-up absolutely fabulous and so, to make sure we can properly channel our energies, we’ve decided to cancel this week’s daytime Brewhouse (21st Feb). We’ll be running two Friday Brewhouse events in March – 14th & 28th and we’ll make  sure they are extra special!

Details of the CANeat evening pop-up with a full menu will be posted later this week – don’t plan dinner yet!



Clarke & Lee Launch Event, 9th March.

February 11, 2014 1 comment »

Check out the snazzy poster below, and here’s the link to The Church blog about the event where you can follow a link to buy tickets. Looking forward to seeing you there!

clarkeandlee poster