Luminary Bakery: Social enterprise empowering women through baking

Luminary Bakery is a social enterprise designed to offer opportunities for women from disadvantaged backgrounds build a future for themselves and their families, by learning how to bake.

The Stoke Newington-based bakery in North East London provides a safe and professional environment where women – who have experienced homelessness, domestic violence, prostitution, sexual exploitation or have been in prison – can grow holistically, “encouraging ambition, restoration and second chances”.

Founded in 2013, Luminary Bakery began in a small shared kitchen and has since taken on a stream of apprentices and trainees.Luminary Bakery offer courses, work experience and paid employment within its bakery, empowering women to build a career and a positive future.

Training at the bakery also provides women with the space to learn life skills such as how to manage money, how to manage their emotions and how to work collaboratively as a team.

Luminary Bakery say: “We [Luminary Bakery] use baking as a tool to take women on a journey to employability and entrepreneurship, equipping them with practical and transferrable skills for the working world.

“By investing in and releasing them to realise their dreams, through training, employment and community, we aim to break the generational cycles of abuse, prostitution, criminal activity and poverty, which currently hold these women back from reaching their potential.”

Some of the course graduates have gone on to start up their own cake decorating businesses or join the Luminary kitchen as apprentices and bakers. The skills they learn are transferable and many go on to different jobs.

The bakery, which started life at Kahaila Café on Brick Lane, moved in to its current premises in Stoke Newington in 2016. It also operates a cafe, which opens daily until 3.30pm. Ingredients are high quality and ethically sourced.

In addition to the training programme, the social enterprise runs a wholesale bakery supplying tray bakes, cakes, cookies and biscuits to restaurants, cafes and bars. Luminary Bakery also sells its produce at London’s Borough Market.

For more information or to donate to Luminary Bakery, visit their website

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea


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