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.
“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
Favourite Luminary Baked Good?: “Gluten Free & Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies”
A surprising fact?: “I love a prank!”
Guilty pleasure?: “Eating peanut butter with everything.”
Favourite place you’ve traveled?: “Lake Kariba in Zimbabwe”
If you could have coffee with anyone (dead or alive), who would it be?: “Nelson Mandela”
Favourite book?: “The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini ”
Go-to song for Karaoke night?: “One Love by Blue”
Puppy or kitten?: “Puppy!”
Skydive or bungee jump?: “Skydive - I’ve done it!!!”
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.
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.