About Us

As a food based social enterprise, Loaf aims:

“To promote real food and healthy living in Birmingham, and build community through food ”.

This means bringing forgotten food skills and real food back to our kitchens through our cookery courses, community bakery and pop-up events, and helping to restore our local high street at the same time. Any profit made through these projects is directed towards furthering Loaf’s social objectives. Loaf believes everyone has the right to eat real food. Check out what we mean in our Real Food Manifesto.

Illustration: www.walternewton.comIn the Beginning – Loaf originated in August 2009 as a community supported bakery run from the south Birmingham home of Director, Tom Baker and his wife Jane. Originally baking for neighbours once a week using a wood-fired oven in his garden, Tom went on to teach forgotten food skills from his home kitchen marking the beginnings of the Loaf Cookery School.

Bringing Real Food to the High Street – Today, Loaf has a successful cookery school and full time bakery on Stirchley high street in Birmingham, launching in September 2012 with fantastic support from the local community, a growing national reputation, and an ever expanding and dedicated staff team.

To find out more visit our Loaf Cookery School , Loaf Community Bakery and Events pages, sign up for our quarterly newsletter or pop in to buy our bread (every Tuesday – Saturday). Loaf is a registered company (limited by guarantee) – no. 6990165

Check out this film made about us last year by Paul McHale of Old Dead Eye Film:

Introducing: the Loaf Team

Loaf currently has six members of staff, three of whom are also directors. We run Loaf together as a workers’ co-operative. We’re hugely thankful to a range of freelance and volunteer professionals for their time, skills and support, including guest cookery school tutors and assistants, Loaf directors, designers, illustrators, carpenters and website gurus. You know who you are. We are also lucky to have the support of an advisory board, who have a great deal of expertise between them which we have the benefit of.

The staff team are:

Tom Baker – Baker and Cookery School Tutor

Sarah Frost – Baker

Rob Drew – Trainee Baker

Nancy Langfeldt – Administrator

Jordan Isherwood – Shop & Cookery School Assistant

Martha Needham – Shop & Cookery School Assistant

To find out about the Loaf Staff Team and Directors visit our Introducing: the Loaf Team page

Press Clippings

For all media enquiries please email tom@loafonline.co.uk or call Tom on 0121 4587682

Press Clippings: From the High Street

Birmingham Post, a berry nice way to find your supper, 25 Sept 2013 (page 11)

Review of Loaf’s Forage and Cook course at Loaf  Cookery School

Birmingham Post, 25 Sept 2013

Birmingham Mail, Bakers use loaf to boost charity, 25 July 2013 (page 16)

Loaf Syrian inspired speciality flatbread for Oxfam emergency appeal – read our blog

Bakers use loaf to boost charity - Birmingham Mail (25 July 2013)

Birmingham Mail, Friday Live, 5 July 2013 (page 23)

CANeat pop-up receives 5* food review – read our blog

CANeat 5* Birmingham Mail review

Soil Association, 18 June 2013

Five Questions with… Tom Baker by Anna Louise Batchelor – read our blog

Soil Association - Tom Baker interview

Brussels Airline, bthere Magazine, May 2013

Brussels Airline bthere Magazine May 2013

The Sunday Telegraph, Seven Magazine, 3rd March 2013

Loaf Community Bakery is featured as one of Britain’s top five bakeries by the Fabulous Baker Brothers – read our blog

Sunday Telegraph 03Feb2013


Press Clippings: The Good Old Days…

Local Food Docu-Short

Toby Nutter, Tobias Evans, Charlotte Percival and Hannah Quainton recently made a short documentary on local food in Birmingham for their second year media project at Birmingham City University. It features Loaf director Tom Baker, check it out on youtube.

The Birmingham Post, 6th August 2010 & The Birmingham Mail, 7th August 2010.

Brum Post Aug 10Food writer Richard Mccomb came down to the inaugural Stirchley Community Market, and wrote an in-depth report on the market, the values behind it, and the producers that were represented. Loaf has a good mention in the article, with some comments from Loaf director Tom Baker. You can view the Birmingham Post article by clicking on the image on the right. A shorter version of the article appeared in the Birmingham Mail on the following day and can be found online here.

The Guardian, Society section, 4th August 2010

The Guardian LogoJournalist Chris Arnot headed down to the inaugural Stirchley Community Market on the 27th July 2010, to report on it for the Guardian Society. His report was a discussion on the power of food as an agent for social change, particularly in places of social deprivation and when there’s a supermarket development looming. An interesting read with some comments from Loaf director Tom Baker as well as a big picture too! Click here to see the story.

The Birmingham Press, 23rd July 2010

birmingham press 23rd jULYRos Dodd from the Press came over to Loaf HQ the week before Loaf helped to launch Stirchley Community Market. As well as talking to Tom and the rest of the team about the market, Ros also chatted to Tom about his history in the bread industry, and the cookery school and bakery that he now runs. Click on the image on the right to see the story.

Area Magazine, July 2010

Area July 2010The July issue of Area magazine – the culture guide to the West Midlands – was a special food issue to tie up with the annual Taste of Birmingham. There was a page on Loaf director Tom Baker, reporting on the activities of Loaf as well as Tom’s reflections on studying, graduating and working in Birmingham. Click on the image on the right to see the article.

Virgin Trains Hotline Magazine, May 2010

hotline may 23

Food writer Rosie Birkett came over to Loaf HQ and had a chat with Director Tom Baker, the “culinary Robin Hood”. She wrote up her experiences for a feature in the May 2010 edition of the Virgin Trains on-board magazine ‘Hotline’. It’s on page 23, but you can download the page by clicking here: Hotline May 2010, page 23

The Guardian, Education Section, 5th March 2010

guardian 5 marchLoaf Director Tom Baker features in an article about the excellent School of Everything website, complete with picture. The last paragraph of the article talks about how Tom uses School of Everything and how it’s helped to give him the confidence to set up Loaf. Click on the image to see it in full.

Birmingham Post supplement and Amsterdam Freesheet – December 2009

Loaf Cookery School gets a nice mention in a Birmingham Post supplement that was also translated into Dutch and distributed on the streets of Amsterdam, to let them all know how brilliant Birmingham is! Read the English version here, and the Dutch version here.

bham mail

Birmingham Mail 29th October 2009 “Tom uses his Loaf for Good Causes” – Loaf Director Tom Baker featured on the front of the Birmingham Mail’s Food and Drink section. The full article can be read here, or by clicking on the Birmingham mail logo.

Birmingham Post 16th October 2009 “Flour Powers a Revolution” – Loaf Director Tom Baker was the main feature in the ‘Friday’ supplement of the Birmingham Post. The full article can be read here, or click on the individual images below.

Baker 1Baker 2Baker 3

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