Cooking up bakery revival

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Bread making workshop © Facebook

Bread making workshop © Facebook

An historic bakery has reopened with the hope of rebuilding Anfield “brick by brick, loaf by loaf”.

The old Mitchells Bakery will reopen as a community-run business after Homebaked Community Land Trust raised funds. The organisation now intends to rebuild Anfield and keep local resources, like the bakery, post office or pub, from crashing into recession.

The founder member of Homebaked and its communication officer, Lynn Tolomon, told JMU Journalism: “We just want to save the things that we love about Anfield, before it’s too late. So we’ll be making the things that people like – blackened cobs, sliced white, little Hovises, fruit tarts, sandwiches, pizza, pies, soup, that kind of thing.”

The bakery, which was built in 1910, has been revived through Liverpool Biennial’s 2up 2down and prides itself on being more than a bakery business by offering training days and jobs for local people.

The programme of workshops intends to give people the chance to learn the craft of bread and provide opportunities for apprentices working alongside bakers and the shop manager. Anfield lost its independent bakery in 2010 after being a local landmark and family business.

With the support of volunteers and supporters, Homebaked has fundraised almost £19,000 for bakery equipment leading to the opening of the bakery on match day to offer hundreds of customers a fresh selection of coffee and artisan breads – and revive a community tradition.

Lynn said:  “People from across the country met at the bakery before the football match at Liverpool FC. It was a local landmark, everyone remembers it very fondly. Everyone had a favourite product, something that Mitchells did better than anywhere else, it’s a way local people could feel home pride – “best cobs in Liverpool, these!” kind of thing.

“On match days, people met at the pie shop.  Generations of people have grown up thinking of the bakery as part of their lives. For some people it was home from home when they came for a match.

“Anfield has been the victim of the Housing Market Renewal Initiative scheme, it has become like the spare room in a house that will get redecorated when you get the chance – it’s been neglected and overlooked, while the stalled “regeneration” hovers over it.

“As for what the area’s lacking, that’s simple – thousands of people were forced to move so that their houses could be demolished. They’re what’s lacking. Those people were Anfield and the community is decimated.

“We aim to be the first of many gorgeous shops springing up along Walton, Breck and Oakfield road, all the businesses that we used to have will come back.”

About Hannah Ashraf, JMU Journalism