“Eveee, Eveeee?” Lucas stands at the door to his room, peering in at the two travel cots where Eve and Bea are sleeping. Hannah, Andrew’s supervisor is here for the week with her family and Lucas is enjoying having guests. Together they’ve had a Kenyan adventure: finding animals in the park, swimming, making animal breads, printing dinosaurs and reading the Apple Tree farm books, especially the one where the cow gets in the tent… Lucas woke every morning and went looking for Eve down the corridor, the days were filled with their boundless energy.
Our incredible Kenyan friends who wish to remain anonymous have a vision to provide quality healthcare to those who are unable to afford it, they loved the bakery idea so much that they are purchasing land which on which they will purpose build a bakery. They welcome the opportunity to give something back to the community. The architect for the project has an excellent eye for detail and is leaving no stone unturned, this level of attention is much needed in purchasing land to check all the previous documents match and that somewhere down the line no one comes to reclaim their land. The proposed location is perfect so we are hoping it all goes through smoothly.
Redempta the project coordinator for the eye project and her husband have years of business experience and a wonderful heart. They will run the business side of the bakery and carry out the market research to ensure we are providing the right products for the consumer population.
Back in the UK we have had a good number of offers of support and help from professional bakers through the Real bread campaign, Suzannah was head baker of Bedale bakery and now runs her own bread making classes, amazingly she has arranged to come out for a 3-4 months to run the training of the bakery staff. Jonathan, a hygiene consultant has designed and set up several bakeries has been incredibly helpful providing all the specifications for the highest hygiene standards and advice on building the wood fired stone oven.
As you can imagine there is lots to be done. We are wanting to set this up as a trust with a board of directors who can ensure the bakery continually meets its aims and for ongoing transparency. We would like to set it up as a charitable company limited by guarantee, this means a company where all its profits go directly back into community/charitable work, i.e for the bakery to support local eye care. If we make £40 a day that’s over 300 cataract operations per year. We are aware careful planning will be needed to ensure sustainability in the future. If anyone reading this has experience of setting up a trust/charity and would be willing to lead this process for the community bakery here in Kenya it would be very gratefully received.
Here is the vision for the bakery:
A bakery-café-college with an ethos of transparency, quality, sustainability and giving.
Food products will be home cooked, not processed and reduce risk to long-term health conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Each item’s nutritional benefit will be clearly marked.
For food to sell, it primarily must be tasty and suitable for the local palette.
For high quality to be maintained the ingredients will be carefully sourced and as far as possible will come from ethical producers.
The highest levels of hygiene will be carried throughout with regular checks and retraining of staff.
Staff training will encourage creativity and autonomy with out a reliance on stringent protocols that do not allow staff members to think for themselves and adapt to new scenarios.
The kitchens will be visible to customers in the café area and therefore poor standards of hygiene will not be tolerable. The visibility of the kitchen will be educational to customers who will be able to witness the preparation and cooking processes.
This is a not-for-profit venture and money generated will be clearly visible in how it is used for staff training, community education and eye care (see below).
For a business of any description to work the model must be sustainable and the local market must be well understood through targeted research.
Local Kenyan business people with a strong track-record for successful business and whom share the vision of the project will be sought to run the bakery at a business level, allowing the business to give.
We wish to encourage giving within the Kenyan community. The decades of aid coming in to the country has hampered the will to give to one another.
Giving through this venture will be multi-faceted.
- Giving of new skills to the bakery staff. Staff will be carefully selected to develop their abilities.
- An emphasis on training unskilled mothers who otherwise would have little opportunity
- Healthy, nutritious alternative to processed baked goods that is affordable
- Through the transparent labelling of food products with simplified nutritional advice this will provide ongoing education
- Classes will be provided at the bakery across a range of ages and abilities to develop skills in baking high quality, healthy artisan products
- Part of the job description of a full-time employee will be to provide community outreach nutritional workshops one day a week.
- When the bakery is up and running a percentage of the profits will go directly towards eyecare in the local community
Our Kenyan friends keep telling us how much they’ve really enjoyed eating Real Bread and other baked goodies we’ve made in our kitchen, this inspired the idea of setting up a social enterprise bakery-café.
Our range of delicious Real Breads and baked goods will be unlike (and better than!) anything else available in the area. The café will be designed to be attractive to tourists and local Kenyans.
We will invest profits from this unique business to provide training and employment to local mothers who are eager to learn. This will not only help them to feed their families but also to share with them and other people in their communities the benefits of eating healthy food. A crèche facility would allow baking mothers to bring their young children to a happy working environment and allow older children to pursue an education.
We aim to establish a sustainable business model that will not be reliant on donor money to succeed and can be passed on to local people to run by the time we leave.
We enjoyed a feast of Roast Goat to welcome all the new team members last week and I made scones for their first cluster. The scones generally came out fine..aside from me thinking I could use two shelves in the random temperature generator at once…a little burnt! The passion fruit jam is not so English but yummy! I have learnt my lesson to stay away from using fresh cream, it had gone off 5 days early in our fridge, we picked some up on the way, and I whisked it using two forks (that worked well!) but then that cream was a bit sour too!….the team seamed to love it and ate it with the goat? Sour milk is very popular here!
Recipe – Scones with Passion Fruit Jam
450g self raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
50g castor sugar (exciting they now sell this in the supermarket!)
2 large eggs
225ml whole milk
- Heat the oven to 220C
- Rub the butter into the flour and baking powder until a breadcrumb consistency
- Stir the sugar in.
- Separately beat the eggs and milk together, put two tablespoons aside for the glaze.
- Gradually mix in the eggs and milk
- Roll out onto a floured surface, this is a very wet mixture but it will help the scones to rise better.
- Roll to 1.5cm thick and use small round cutter to cut out and place on a lined baking tray.
- Glaze with egg mixture and place in the oven for 10-12 minutes until golden brown.
- Spread with jam and wipped double cream or if you have the luxury the lovely clotted cream!
The explorer enjoys this lush time of year
The eye project is back on the road…