Bakery on a roll following charity investment

Tue, March 26th, 2019

A community bakery in Anfield, famous for producing Scouse and Shankly pies...

A community bakery in Anfield, famous for producing Scouse and Shankly pies, has received substantial investment from a unique social impact business, to fund a dedicated cookery unit and ramp up production, to meet a surge in demand for its award-winning produce.

Homebaked, a co-operative bakery and café, situated between Everton and Anfield, produces 3,000 pies, 300 sausage rolls, 250 loaves and 250 scones a week.

After winning 10 medals (one gold, six silver and three bronze) in this year’s British Pie Awards, the bakery is renowned for its savoury pastries and varieties include the ‘Shankly’ pie made with steak, bacon, mushroom and onion, the ‘Scouse’ pie containing a beef stew and the ‘Blue’ flavoured with steak and cheese. Prices start from £2.50 and pastries are sold in the shop on Oakfield Road, on Lark Lane, in Granby and in the Baltic Market. The bakery also supplies Liverpool Football Club with 700 pies per game.

Homebaked’s recent application for £61,000 was approved by First Ark Social Investment (FASI), which provides finance for social enterprises and charities. The investment, which is made up of a grant of £15,500 and a loan of £45,500, will go towards helping Homebaked become a larger wholesale producer, expand the increasingly-popular café, attend more markets, create new roles and offer more volunteer placements and training courses.

First Ark Social Investment also mentored Homebaked when drafting a robust business plan and helped write an application to access £14,000 from The Reach Fund, a national grant programme that helps charities and social enterprises raise investment.

Benefits of the investment:
• A healthy eating course for children will be created
• Space has been created to run regular community baking courses
• 3 permanent part-time jobs, 20 volunteer placements and 10 work placements for young people will be organised
• For every £1 invested a social return of £20.37 will be generated

Sally-Anne Watkiss, Treasurer of Homebaked, said:

“Investment has given us a chance to grow, employ more people, bake more produce and more importantly re-invest in Anfield and its residents.

“Our prized pies are famous throughout Liverpool and if we want to continue making 3,000 a week we need the right equipment and premises to do it.

“The funding from First Ark Social Investment has made a huge difference because we need to expand our premises to cope with demand. We’re now renting an industrial space in Bootle which was previously a food business, so the right kit is already installed.

“We’ve also been able to buy extra tables, shelves, a mixer, an oven, a fridge and freezer, as we want to scale-up production and extend our café to welcome more customers.”

Leann Hearne, Group Chief Executive of First Ark Group, said: “Homebaked is helping to bring back that sense of community in Anfield and improving access to quality food. It has become the cornerstone of the neighbourhood and not only offers delicious homemade produce but also inspires budding bakers through training courses and employs 15 local people and 30 volunteers.

“We supported this stand-out project, during the investment period, with guidance when applying for investment from our funds and social value monitoring. Homebaked is so much more than a bakery and a café, it’s an educational, social and training hub and does everything from teaching the community about healthy eating, to backing ongoing local community initiatives. This year it has also provided produce for ‘Fans Supporting Foodbanks’, a unique partnership between the Everton Supporters' Trust and the Spirit of Shankly, the Liverpool Supporters Union, to tackle the foodbank shortages.”

Launched in 2016, First Ark Social Investment’s aim is to support social enterprises across the North West to thrive, be sustainable, create a demonstrative social outcome and a healthy financial return. First Ark Social Investment offers a blend of grant and unsecured loan finance for charities and social organisations and investments of between £50,000 - £150,000.

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