Growing Opportunities

By Kaila H. Johnson

Luminary’s business savvy Commercial Director, Rachael, is one who is bound to inspire - joining us just over 2 years ago when we were about to open our first cafe. With a futuristic outlook full of opportunities, there’s no wonder we have continued to grow in creating job opportunities, including opening our second site in just 2 weeks’ time! 

“I was first taken by how Luminary has created such an innovative way to empower those who have experienced injustice. There’s a place here for meeting that immediate need, but there’s also real power in teaching and training and giving confidence through building community and relationships.”

With a strong business background, Rachael joined Luminary to help build and grow the business from its grass roots into being an established social food brand. Paired powerfully with our founder, Alice, these women have been dreaming and planning for the future - setting in motion the opening of our second site. This brand new bakery, cafe and bespoke training site will launch on the 10th October in Camden* - allowing  us to bring opportunities to 4 times as many women at any one time through training and employability. 

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“We see all the time how employment is one of the biggest keys to unlocking the barrier to independence. It means the start of a new chapter for so many of our women.” 

Contrary to the individualistic nature within the western culture, Rachael’s focus on building community and a supportive team environment has added to Luminary’s foundation of empowerment. It’s easy in a business to hire based simply on qualification, but when it comes to empowering women to reach their potential, we look not just to capabilities, but to opportunities.

“Sometimes we make decisions that might not be typical in any other business. We are a place of second chances and building people up and so we choose to give opportunities wherever we can - typically we have one person in training in the kitchen every day.

It means that mistakes can happen and sometimes products have to be made twice, but it’s about journeying with people through it — letting them know it’s safe to make mistakes. We make these decisions because we believe that everyone has huge potential and they just need the chance to reach it!”

Building a future takes time, opportunity, and most of all, support! This is what Luminary offers and the inspiring direction that Rachael has added to our vision in growing a business that’s making that impact — aka. #PurchaseWithAPurpose. It is not just about cake, but engaging with a wider societal issue. 

“You are part of the jigsaw puzzle behind it all. Purchase With A Purpose is beyond the initial purpose, it’s part of the solution.”

And what an impact it has been, with 66 women already supported, 25 women moved into work and 10 women starting their own business! We love that we get to be a part of their journey - whether in our own business, in a partner company or helping them to reach their dreams of having their own enterprise. And with a team full of women like Rachael helping to guide our vision, the influence is far reaching!

From goal setting to growing opportunities, this has been a Behind-The-Scenes Moment with Luminary’s very own inspirational boss lady and Commercial Director, Rachael Coulson.

10 QUESTIONS WITH RACHAEL

    1. Favourite Luminary Baked Good?: “Gluten Free & Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies”

    2. A surprising fact?:  “I love a prank!”

    3. Guilty pleasure?: “Eating peanut butter with everything.”

    4. Favourite place you’ve traveled?: “Lake Kariba in Zimbabwe”

    5. If you could have coffee with anyone (dead or alive), who would it be?: “Nelson Mandela”

    6. Favourite book?: “The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini ”

    7. Go-to song for Karaoke night?: “One Love by Blue” 

    8. Puppy or kitten?: “Puppy!”

    9. Skydive or bungee jump?: “Skydive - I’ve done it!!!”

    10. Beach or city?: “Beach!”

*Our second location launches on 10th October on Chalk Farm Road, just outside Camden Market! Stay tuned on our Instagram for more details.

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Kaila is honoured to help Luminary put words to the amazing stories taking place throughout this inspiring social enterprise. When she’s not writing, you can find her exploring the world of art, trying out new nutritional recipes, or savouring a locally roasted cup of coffee. Stay connected through her blog www.freshpagenewchapter.blogspot.com or Instagram @kailahjohnson



Reclaiming Hope

By Kaila H. Johnson

Moving throughout the walls of Luminary Bakery and within the hearts and minds of those that work here is the innate focus to rise hope. It’s part of our vision and DNA—to help a woman reopen a door that has been closed, and reclaim hope. This is the heartbeat behind Luminary’s very own Employability Tutor, Ruth Le Friec. 

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“Reclaiming hope is about reclaiming self. For the women, reclaiming their identity—who they are, who they want to be and who they can be, without limitations. For me, reclaiming hope is about enabling a platform for that to happen—reopening a door that has been closed.”

Ruth’s genuine and relatable personality creates an environment of compassion and acceptance as she walks alongside each woman partaking in Luminary’s programmes, edifying and drawing out capabilities that have previously been extinguished. Her heart behind working with each woman is illuminating and helping them reclaim what was already theirs, and what should have been. Her advice,

“Don’t let anyone else stop you! So many women have been told, ‘No’, but there’s more for them. And this is what we are fighting for. We are about saying, ‘Yes!’”

Through Ruth’s past experience of working with young women in prisons, she has learned the power of assisting someone in restoring belief for their future! The journey is not easy in overcoming fears, prejudice, and obstacles that have been dictated and cultivated over many years, but the result is unanimous in strength and significant aftereffect. 

This is exactly why we have a vision to grow in offering more opportunities for women to reach their potential and broaden their hopes for the future. With a second bakery location opening this Autumn, and a cookbook launching in August 2020, more and more stories of reclaiming hope are take flight. As Ruth accompanies that growth with her ineffable capabilities to encourage the women she works with, she continues to cheer on restoration.

“Hope: it’s such a big word! So full of ‘more’—there has been more, there is more, and there will be more!”

From closed doors to reclaiming hope, this has been a Behind-The-Scenes Moment with our hope champion and Employability Tutor, Ruth Le Friec.

10 QUESTIONS WITH RUTH: 

  1. Favourite Luminary Baked Good?:Vegan Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookie”

  2. A surprising fact?: “I used to be a synchronised swimmer!”

  3. Guilty pleasure?: “Easy reads, like Harry Potter I find them such a good escape when I can't turn off my thoughts from a difficult day or conversations.

  4. Favourite place you’ve traveled?: “Iceland!”

  5. What makes you laugh the most?: “My husband!”

  6. Favourite book?: “A Thousand Splendid Suns By Khaled Hosseini. I gained so much from it!”

  7. Go-to Karaoke song?: “Mr. Brightside by The Killers.”

  8. Puppy or kitten?: “Both, they are so fun… I was actually going to be a vet, but decided this job instead!”

  9. Sky dive or bungie jump?: “Sky dive!”

  10. Beach or city?: “Beach!”

If you are a woman who could benefit from Luminary’s programmes or are a support worker interested in referring someone, please check out our programmes or contact ruth@luminarybakery.com.

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Kaila assists with Luminary’s Press & Communications and has the honour of putting words to the amazing stories taking place throughout this social enterprise. When she’s not writing, you can find her exploring the world of art, trying out new nutritional recipes, or savouring a locally roasted cup of coffee. Stay connected through her blog www.freshpagenewchapter.blogspot.com or Instagram @kailahjohnson.

From a Dream to Reality

By Kaila H. Johnson

Those who hear of Luminary eventually hear of its founder, Alice Williams. With a serene, yet fierce, persona and a passionate drive for second chances, her dream of empowering women from disadvantaged backgrounds to reach their potential has become a reality — an award winning and globally known reality! 

Alice’s dream was not something that formulated over night, or even months, but years of gathering information and understanding into the world of second chances. It was only when she volunteered in Thailand with a Non-Governmental Organisation that offered employment to women trying to exit the sex-trade in Bangkok, that her passions of hope, second chances, and empowerment began to align.

Upon returning to London, she began volunteering her time with local charities working with women. Through this invested time she saw an opportunity to help—to offer a safe and professional environment where women can feel empowered to reach their potential. Surrounded by bakers, Alice began to see the therapeutic nature of baking and the opportunities it offered for sustainability. Thus, Luminary was born!

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Hope is the evidential backbone of Alice and the team at Luminary as they overflow with the ability to help others flourish through creative expressions of artisan baking. Hence the tagline: Rising Hope. 

“We chose to use baking because… it can be a therapeutic activity for the women to engage with, and there are so many people willing to ‘purchase with purpose’ — to buy delicious baked goods that support our cause!”

There have been and still are moments of doubt, tears, and discouragement when external systems prevent growth for our women (i.e.barriers of housing / childcare / Home Office restrictions), but then there are moments when women we work with feel a sense of security and take courageous steps forward in their own lives after overcoming so much. Those are the moments that rise hope in it all and keep moving the dream forward to become a reality. The reality it is today!

Alice’s dream continues to expand as Luminary looks forward to opening our second location in Camden come Autumn 2019. The reality of this initial dream surpasses itself again as we search for additional staff and prepare to triple the number of women trained per year (thanks to a grant from the National Lottery)!?

“Luminary’s training programmes are always oversubscribed, and there is such a need for the support we offer. We are over the moon to have the opportunity to work with many more women, and we’re looking forward to welcoming them into the Luminary family!”

At the end of the day, the women we work with move the dream forward! For them to feel safe and empowered, having been invested in and grown in confidence, skills, experience, employability & independence, that IS Alice’s dream.

From a dream to a reality, this has been a Behind-The-Scenes Moment with Luminary’s fearless founder and leader, Alice! 

10 QUESTIONS WITH ALICE:

  1. Favourite Luminary baked good?: “That is a very hard question! Can I have 4?! The cinnamon swirls (obviously!), our vegan chocolate & almond celebration cake, a salted caramel brownie, or, if I’m in a savoury mood, a warm cheese scone.”

  2. A surprising fact?: “I’m currently learning the play drums and am in a little band (called Mockingbird Band), we play Folky/Americana.”

  3. Guilty pleasure?: “RuPaul’s Drag Race!”

  4. Favourite place you’ve traveled?: “I felt very lucky to go to Halong Bay in Vietnam, we went kayaking around the tiny islands and it was ridiculously beautiful.”

  5. What makes you laugh the most?: “Cat videos!”

  6. Favourite book?: “‘Life of Pi’ by Yan Martel.”

  7. Go-to Karaoke song?: “Anything Whitney!”

  8. Puppy or kitten?: “Kittens every day. I have 2 of my own & they are my world”

  9. Skydive or bungie jump?: “Skydive… I’d be really up for that!”

  10. Beach or City?: “Beach. I live in a city – it’s nice to escape to the seaside!”

If you are interested in being apart of the Luminary Team, stay tuned to our Instagram (@luminarybakery) or our website’s Team Vacancies page for job postings come August.

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Kaila does Press & Communications for Luminary, as well as has the honour of helping put words to the amazing stories taking place throughout this inspiring social enterprise. When she’s not writing, you can find her exploring the world of art, trying out new nutritional recipes, or savouring a locally roasted cup of coffee. Stay connected through her blog www.freshpagenewchapter.blogspot.com or Instagram @kailahjohnson.

A Home Away From Home - Cafe Life

By Kaila H. Johnson

To enter a cafe and be known is something of a rarity in London, but subconsciously sought. Whether it is to have your order remembered or to be personally received when you walk through the door, there’s something about being known that can put a positive spin to your day. To quote the famous theme song from the 80’s TV sitcom, Cheers, “Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name and they’re always glad you came”. This is the heartbeat behind Luminary’s very own Cafe Manager, Essy, and what makes our cafe worth visiting!

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Cafe work is not something new to Essy as it’s basically in her DNA. At the young age of 12, she was already helping in her mom’s tea garden. By the time she was 18, and a fresh face to London, she was ready to mix experience with her passionate desire to see women succeed. After 5 years of working in London’s coffee industry and submitting an “essay-long” application of pure determination and zeal to Luminary, Essy joined our team!

“My hope is to create a home away from home—a sanctuary for the women we work with and for every customer.”

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Essy’s fierce determination—and quick wit—to make every customer feel known and accepted, has seen her hope become reality. Customers are greeted by name, orders are remembered, great coffee is created, and the sweet and savoury baking aromas leave an environment feeling exactly like home. The Cheers theme song is quickly becoming the Luminary theme song!

“It’s nice to work somewhere that has a meaning behind the business, but doesn’t compromise on quality. … I hope that we can inspire the women graduating and others in our industry to [run sustainable businesses] and make a difference in our society.”

Essy is devoted to delivering customer service at it’s finest, as well as products and coffee that satisfy. It’s no wonder the cafe has flourished immensely since she was brought onto the team in 2018! If you haven’t been to our cafe—peacefully tucked away from London’s fast-pace drive—it’s well worth the cheeky visit. You’ll be glad you came!

From an empowering upbringing to paying-it-forward, this had been a Behind-The-Scenes Moment with Luminary’s Cafe Manager extraordinaire, Essy!

10 QUESTIONS WITH ESSY:

  1. Favourite Luminary Baked Good?:Rhubarb and raspberry cake (vegan)”

  2. A surprising fact?: “I swim in the Hampstead ponds most days!”

  3. Guilty pleasure?: “I just really love Abba!”

  4. Favourite place you’ve traveled?: “Cornwall”

  5. What makes you laugh the most?: “People falling over…”

  6. If you could have coffee with anyone (dead or alive), who would it be?: “My old manager, Jackie, cause she’s the most inspiring person ever.” 

  7. Current favourite tv show?: “The Office”

  8. Go-to song for Karaoke night?: “The Piña Colada Song” 

  9. Puppy or kitten?: “Puppy”

  10. Beach or city?: “Beach”

Learn more about the work Essy does in a recent interview by The Traveling Foodcast—listen by clicking here (also available on Spotify).

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Kaila has the honour of helping Luminary Bakery put words to the amazing stories taking place throughout this inspiring social enterprise. When she’s not writing, you can find her exploring the world of art, trying out new nutritional recipes, or savouring a locally roasted cup of coffee. Stay connected through her blog www.freshpagenewchapter.blogspot.com or Instagram @kailahjohnson.

Passionate Pursuits of a Gap Year Intern

By Kaila H. Johnson

There are times in life when exploration is at our fingertips. When our identity is being grasped and moulded all at the same time. Where questions outweigh the answers, and the quest for understanding and foundational formations are sought. These moments are cherished—and sometimes dreaded—as the inner workings of life unfold before our very eyes. These were the moments that led Jess to a Gap Year Internship with us at Luminary Bakery. 

As school came to completion for Jess, uncertainty about committing to a specific study was at the forefront of her mind. As friends prepared for University, and what seemed like certainty was for the taking, her loved ones suggested to take a year for exploration. It wasn’t until she started following Benjamina—blogger, baker, food stylist, and Luminary Ambassador—on Instagram that her passion for baking and heart for people began to align. Jess quickly jumped at the opportunity and started to research more about Luminary Bakery. 

After some hesitation, she mustered up the courage to email them not only her CV, but her portfolio and baking background! To Jess’ amazement, they responded ecstatically with interest. After the usual interview and assessments, Jess joined the Luminary family as our Gap Year Intern in Autumn 2018!

When Jess was asked about the impact Luminary has been during this Gap Year Internship, her response speaks volumes about this fierce generation rising up, 

“Luminary encouraged me in both my passion for food and bettering the world around me—training me up with new skills. 

They enabled me to realise the part I want to play in ending world hunger, as well as writing programs [food hygiene programs] for people who don’t speak English as their first language—to rewrite them with less complex wording.”

Jess’ heart for encouragement and joy-filled persona has been infectious during her internship here as she’s mastered the art of crafting the perfect flat white in our cafe, tested and decorated our Easter Parsnip & Orange Cake, and courageously assisted and taught in our training programmes. These sincere qualities will remain within the walls of Luminary, well beyond her sad departure next month. 

As she looks towards beginning Food Science and Nutrition at University, her hope has always been and will continue to be that each woman that comes through the doors of Luminary truly believes in themselves.

“Luminary has been a safe place—to wobble and make mistakes! We build each other up and share the load.”

From uncertainty to passionate pursuits, this has been a Behind-The-Scenes Moment with Luminary’s harmonious Gap Year Intern, Jess!

10 QUESTIONS WITH JESS:

  1. Favourite Luminary baked good?: “It’s got to be the Carrot Cake… every time!”

  2. A surprising fact?: "I wanted to be a dolphin trainer.”

  3. Guilty pleasure?: “The TV program, Anne of Green Gables.”

  4. Favourite place you’ve traveled?: “Portugal”

  5. What makes you laugh the most?: “My sister.”

  6. If you could have coffee with anyone (dead or alive), who would it be?: "Mary Berry!”

  7. Current favourite music?: “George Ezra.”

  8. Go-to Karaoke music?: “High School Musical… I absolutely loved it!”

  9. Puppy or kitten?: “Puppy.”

  10. Sky dive or bungie jump?: “Skydive!”

  11. Beach or city?: “Hmmm… beach.”

To learn more about Luminary Bakery’s Gap Year Internship program, click here.

Follow more of Jess’ baking story on social media: @baking.beans.

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Kaila has the honour of helping Luminary Bakery put words to the amazing stories taking place throughout this inspiring social enterprise. When she’s not writing, you can find her exploring the world of art, trying out new nutritional recipes, or savouring a locally roasted cup of coffee. Stay connected through her blog www.freshpagenewchapter.blogspot.com or Instagram @kailahjohnson.

Balance in Restoration

International Women’s Day 2019

By Kaila H. Johnson

In a trending world seeking balance - whether fitness and health, body and image, or poverty and affluence - determination to find harmony is on the tip of why days like today matter. A day to refocus. A day to feature. A day to remember those of Perseverance Past, Perseverance Present, and Perseverance Future. A day to #balanceforbetter.

International Women’s Day comes to us at Luminary Bakery with a force - a force of hope, resilience, belief, and above all else, restoration. It’s days like today that fan the creative and ardent flame within, as our bakery turns into a fierce artisan replicator of Sticky Toffee cakes, fluffy cinnamon swirls, and endless gooey traybakes. At the forefront, our bakers are continually busy learning, creating and embarking on luscious treats of influence, but in the background, there is much at work. Each moving part of Luminary - whether baker, operations, trainee, graduate, or apprentice - balances the heart that makes up this social enterprise.

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Behind the scenes, beating to the tune of restorative balance, are women who carry on the baton from those of Perseverance Past. Each day is a battle for balance, yet at the same time, is a celebration of pliancy. Upon reflecting on why Alice, Luminary’s Founder, chose to begin such a life-giving business, she said,

“Meeting women who were experiencing violence and disadvantage because of their gender, meant I couldn’t ignore the inequality. Those of us with more privilege should feel challenged to use our position to advocate for others. When previously disadvantaged women are given a chance, they really can thrive - these are the opportunities Luminary creates and champions!”

As the heartbeat in the background continues, Esme, Luminary’s Progression Support Worker, passionately states the societal need for balance,

“We currently live in a society that defines individuals worth by their social circumstances. I believe that we are not defined by these past experiences, but rather by our unique talents, insights, and beliefs. Luminary promotes this individuality and facilitates a second chance for women who want to grow.”

Though tensions rise against such thoughts, the baton continues to be passed from one woman to the next. Rising hope with each pass, from disadvantage to opportunity to affluence. Balance continues its work of restoration. As Allison, Head of Sales and Operations, passionately celebrates,

“I know the work I do extends beyond selling delicious baked goods. It reaches to doing real good in the lives of wonderful women in my community. … here at Luminary [we] bear witness to hope every day!”

#betterforbalance increases hope! It takes into consideration history - those of Perseverance Past - and matches it with our current community - those of Perseverance Present - so we can create a culture of hope for those of Perseverance Future. A future of balance. A second chance for harmony. As Rachael, Luminary’s Commerical Director, summarises beautifully,

“I believe business can be used as a powerful force for social change. Giving someone a job, surrounding them in a safe environment, placing them in a culture that is kind, training and empowering them to reach their potential. These are all things that any business can do, and what Luminary is passionate about doing day in and day out.”

These are just some of the women of Luminary’s Perseverance Present, passionately fanning into the flame of balance for restoration - #balanceforbetter. In seeing someone’s potential, rather than past, a second chance is given. A second chance for hope. A second chance for balance. A second chance for restoration.

Luminary exists to rise hope. To embrace worth. To honour determination. And to establish balance in restoration. There is an abundance of strong, fiery, and ingenious women behind the scenes of this haven - whether baker, operations, trainee, graduate, or apprentice. They all play their part in balancing the heart that makes up days like this. A day to refocus. A day to feature. A day to remember. A day to #balanceforbetter.

Happy International Women’s Day!

Kaila helps Luminary with communications and as a freelance writer - bringing words to the experiences and stories being shared. When she’s not writing, you can find her sipping an intricately made cup of coffee, exploring the world of art, or trying out new nutritional recipes.

How Baking Can Empower and Improve General Well Being

Guest blog from Jane Sandwood

At the Luminary Bakery in London, women who come from disadvantaged backgrounds are given the opportunity to turn their lives around by learning and working in a professional and safe environment.  By offering a variety of courses and work experience as well as paid, formal employment within the bakery, women are being emboldened to realise their own dreams as longstanding cycles of poverty, prostitution, criminal activity and abuse are broken. A new year brings with it new possibilities and for the disadvantaged women in the greater London area, the empowerment offered by the Luminary Bakery can literally be life-changing.

Teaching a woman to bake and nurturing a subsequent passion for it provides her with far more than a skill set that can provide financial independence. Social initiatives designed to provide social and economically disadvantaged women with the chance to forge a better future for themselves through baking are empowering the fairer sex to not only build careers for themselves but to become well-rounded, happy individuals that can contribute positively to their communities.  While you can shape a lucrative career for yourself within the bakery industry the therapeutic advantage of baking can benefit you in an immense way as well.

Baking promotes self-expression and communication

Baking allows individuals to creatively express themselves.  Stress is related to a host of physical and mental problems and finding ways to cope with such stress in vital for leading a happy and healthy lifestyle.  Baking can also have the added benefit of helping one communicate one’s feelings, especially when baking for someone else. It can be very helpful especially for people who have experienced hardships and who battle to express their feelings to do so with baked goods. In many cultures, food is seen as an expression of love which is very profound as it is something we can all relate to. Baking helps us to expand our tastes and introduce us to new flavour experiences.

Baking is a form of mindfulness

The benefits of mindfulness and meditation have become very well-known and include a reduction in stress and increased happiness. Baking requires a lot of attention while you focus on weighing, measuring and following the recipe. As long as you are focusing on taste and smell and are present in the moment of creation, the act of mindfulness in the current moment can result in even further stress reduction. Culinary therapy, including baking, right alongside art therapy often form part of behavioral therapies in treatment facilities that deal with everything from addiction to post-traumatic stress disorders. To ring in the new year, whipping up a batch of the UK’s favourite cakes and biscuits can prove to be a much-needed stress reliever after the often trying festive period.

Baking for others is a form of altruism

At the very heart of baking are the acts of creation and giving. Baking for others, whether as a gift or as part of your career, makes you feel like you have accomplished something good and contributes to your sense of well-being. Whipping up a batch of baked goods with the intention of gifting them is seen as a form of altruism, a sacrifice you are making for someone else.  Baking holds great symbolic meaning and has an impact on both your physical and emotional wellbeing.

The art of baking can benefit anyone in a variety of ways. Not only will you experience a sense of self-accomplishment when you see, and taste, the finished product but you will continuously improve your skills and enjoy an increased sense of well-being while creating delectable goods in the kitchen. 2018 has all the potential needed to be a positive and fulfilling year and what better way to spread love and prosperity than by indulging in the art of baking.

 

 

Jane is a freelance writer and editor. She has written for both digital and print across a wide variety of fields. Her main interest is exploring how people can improve their health and well being in their everyday life. And when she isn't writing, Jane can often be found with her nose in a good book, at the gym or just spending quality time with her family.

Being a Baker

  This afternoon, I had the pleasure of talking to Aine, one of our main bakers here at Luminary Bakery. After her time as an on-going volunteer throughout last year, she returned at the beginning of this year as a full-time staff member. Since then, she has loved being part of the Luminary team, experiencing the journey and witnessing firsthand the amazing work going on inside and out of the kitchen.

When asked what she enjoyed most about her role at the bakery, Aine expressed her love for working with the women training in the course. She takes joy in building relationships with them, laughing and learning alongside them, and watching their confidence grow week by week. Additionally, she loves trying new flavour combinations and experimenting with different, wonderful ingredients. She sees Luminary as a team of women equally passionate about food as well as people, a team built on support for each other that not only has fun but works together extremely well.

When it comes to advice to newcomers, Aine says that baking can be intimidating but it all depends on self confidence. “Trust yourself,”  she told me.“You can’t be afraid to make mistakes and take risks.” In terms of support within the team, Aine treasures the amazing management teams but also loves how everyone offers something different. Each person has their own strengths and creative ideas.

Aine is excited for Luminary’s upcoming transition to Stoke Newington and overall development for the organization. She aspires to help more women, impact more lives and watch the charity side grow in a brand new space. “The women are the reason we got this far. It’ll be such an achievement to get to that point,” she said. “I’m grateful to be a part of it all and excited for the future.”

Celebrating Cupcake Day for Alzheimer’s Society at Luminary Bakery

Alzheimer’s Society and their mission is something that is very close to my heart and I’m  grateful for the chance to get involved in Cupcake Day and bring a personal connection to my achievements at work. Alzheimer’s runs in my family and I’ve personally experienced the toll it takes on someone's life and all that it can rob them of. It is a truly heartbreaking disease and if all it takes is a cupcake and good will to help make a difference in the lives of sufferers I’m more than happy to be on board.  

 

When I was asked to create a signature cupcake to add to our bakeries new wholesale menu, I couldn't have been more excited. Apart from loving cake in its every form, being given the chance to spotlight my creative abilities at work was a joy. Allowing an intern such freedom and independance really showcases the Luminary Bakery spirit. It truly is a supportive and encouraging environment that enables all members of the team to reach their true potential.

I knew I wanted to create something more than just an average cupcake, something modern yet reminiscent of childhood flavours. I tested numerous sponges and frostings until finally landing on a Chocolate Rye Cupcake with a Honey Orange Cream Cheese Frosting. The light as air dark chocolate sponge is complimented by the earthy notes of the rye flour and the tangy cream cheese frosting is sweetened with a syrup made from honey and orange peels, making the perfect floral citrus combination. Right away it was clear the cupcake fit with the image and spirit of Luminary and happily found a spot amongst all of our other wonderful products.

To help us make a difference, follow along on the hash tag #cupcakeday, indulge in a few sweet treats, and check out the link below to find out how to host your own party!

https://cupcakeday.alzheimers.org.uk/home?utm_source=Blog&utm_medium=Blog&utm_content=luminarybakery&utm_campaign=CupcakeDay2016  

My Time At Luminary

Of all the things I thought I’d accomplish in my six months at a ramshackle kitchen in East London, I didn’t think finding the sturdiest community of my life would be on the list. I come home from work everyday with flour caked in my pores, my back aching, and an eagerness to go back tomorrow and do it all over again.

I get into work everyday and we bake. We talk, in great depth, about what we made for dinner last night. We tell embarrassing stories of being teen girls. We drop quiches and start all over again at 4:45pm. We dance to Beyonce. The days are long and there can be tears. Sometimes they’re mine. Through the familiar motions of rolling pastry and browning butter, I’ve learnt of the worlds and lives of women I would have never encountered otherwise. I’m a better person for it. Through the strength and courage of these women I’m inspired and empowered to try harder, not just in the kitchen but in every facet of myself. I can always find an extra inch within me to give. Chocolate brings down barriers.

I came to Luminary with my guard fully up. I wanted to get bakery experience and hone my skills, never one for vulnerability. Five months in and I can’t remember where I left my guard. The community here is always in flux. Growing and changing with the quirks each member brings with them and the impact they make. Goodbyes aren’t easy but no one ever truly says goodbye here, the blessing of a growing and changing space is the safety of knowing you always have a place. In my more morose moments I find myself wondering what the Kate shaped hole here will look like. Probably a little wonky, wearing precious dresses not fit for a kitchen, and with a fair helping of perhaps ill timed brash wit. But what I do hope is that that hole, or at least part of it, is filled by the next wide eyed young woman with a chip on her shoulder who isn’t prepared for how much better her life is going to get.