It's amazing what happens when a bunch of like-minded people put their minds to something. In June 2020, it turned out that while Laura of Heirlooms & Wooden Spoons was corralling a bunch of NW London bakers, the same thing was happening over in Stoke Newington, under the aegis of Adri, a pastry chef at the River Cafe, and Nia, owner/chef at Esters where Adri's a regular. So when I spotted them on Instagram, I got in touch to see if we could unite the clans for a NE/NW combined sale.
Our united team of 10 pulled together over a series of Zoom calls to coordinate a sale in both our locations - Esters in NE and our incredible hosts The Hearth in NW - in honour of Black History Month in October 2020. We raised £3k in each location, again for The Black Curriculum.
For this year's first sale, we wanted to go bigger. Could we get more Londoners involved? They'd been asking us to pitch up in other parts of our capital, so we put out the call southward - and Life at Brown & Green and Lockdown Bakehouse both answered. I built us a website. We had more Zoom calls. Between us we garnered press, wrote newsletters, and invited bakers from all over London to get stuck in. It's never as straightforward getting engagement when something isn't the hot topic anymore - so many media outlets and people had started to get fatigued by the tail end of 2020 with their newfound exposure to anti-racism. The "anti-woke" crew has been getting ever more bold, and - as the insurrection in the US amply demonstrated - their numbers are more swollen than many well-intentioned liberals and allies would like to believe. But we went for it, and I'm pleased to say it went very well. At end of March, our amazing bakers came through in their droves, and we raised an incredible £4.2k across our four sites - once again for The Black Curriculum.
I hope we're back bigger and even better next time...don't forget to subscribe to our London Bakers Against Racism website for future updates and check out this brilliant Listen While You Bake podcast list, ideal for wherever you are on your journey to better understand British history.
Pic credit: Elainea Emmott