What makes the Bread Houses Network unique?
From the first, small Bread House in Gabrovo, Bulgaria, the Bread House’s simple but new community-building model of collective bread-making and art-making became more and more popular and spread around the world. Since 2009, more than 15 Bulgarian cities and more than 20 countries on 5 continents have been inspired by the model and are currently developing local initiatives part of the Bread Houses Network.
The Bread Houses are, in some cases, physical locations we have established, and in others programs, educational and community-building, run by people whom we have trained people to host activities with our methods in various locations (community centers, schools, churches, etc. and in different countries that we coordinate) with series of events and festivals.
1. The Bread Houses physical locations that our organization has established are two kinds:
a) community socio-cultural centers (the main is the Bread House in Sofia, Bulgaria, and in a few other cities across Bulgaria)
b) social enterprises-bakeries and community social centers (for team-building, children’s educational programs, etc.) that train and employ disadvantaged people while also serving as a social-cultural center. Тhis is the model of our NadEzhko Social Bakery (www.nadezhko.com) in Sofia, Bulgaria, which in 2019 was transferred to Latvia, in the city of Ventspils, as a kind of social franchise model, where the local Latvian sourdough bakery employing people with disabilities, is called Creative Bread Laboratory (in Latvian, Ramala), and uses the Bread Houses Network methods for community baking events and is thus a part of our network.
2. The Bread Houses community social programs are run in 20+ countries on 5 continents by people or organizations that we have trained in the BHN methods and they then take up the initiative to locally apply the methods with diverse groups and addressing different social issues. You can find some of them and their diverse, inspiring professions, bread-related passions and stories on our global platform Bakers Without Borders
The Bread Houses Network connects the following countries by cooperating with local partner organizations, where we have organized collective bread-making events and/or where currently local organizations are further developing programs (in CHRONOLOGICAL order of their connection within the BHN):
Bulgaria (May 2009 – present)
– Bread Houses physical spaces: 8 cities with 10 houses (Sofia (2), Gabrovo (2), Zlataritza, Plovdiv, Stara Zagora, Svilengrad, village of Prevala, village of Lobosh).
– Bread House programs (housed at one or a few host organizations whom we have trained in our methods and organize events): in the cities of Varna, Burgas, Pleven, Nova Zagora, Blagoevgrad, and others in progress.
Italy (initiated June 2009) – various cooperation projects evolving:
– Puglia, Pane di Alta Mura Bakery (June 2009)
– Sardegna, Santadi, Bread House Slow Food Convivium (December 2010)
– La Gagiandra (www.lagagiandra.org) social enterprise bakery, Venezia (2013)
Peru (initiated July 2009)
– Andes, Ollantaytambo (below Machu Picchu), Tanta Wasi (Sonia’s Inka Bread House) project
– Amazons, Iquitos, neighborhood of Belen/Bethlehem: Bread House Program “Bread and Humor” developed with Patch Adams at the community health center sponsored by World Health Organization and run by the non-for-profit La Restinga, www.larestinga.org
Austria (initiated in 2013)
In Vienne and Salzburg local community organisations were trained the community baking methods and the Career Counseling Method „3S-Sifting-Shaping-Sharing“ to help immigrants and refugees.
South Africa (initiated September and October 2009)
– Johannesburg: Arekopaneng Integral Center (run by Ma Afrika Tikkun, www.maafrikatikkun.org.za);
– Cape Town: Beth-Uriel Center for youth without parent care (www.bethuriel.co.za), where the Bread House Program fostered partnerships with NOAH Old Age Home (www.noah.org.za), together with St. George’s Parish Hall (www.goarch.co.za); Mfuleni Integral Center (also run by Ma Afrika Tikkun,www.maafrikatikkun.org.za), and is planning to partner with Philani Child Health and Nutrition Project (www.philani.org.za)
Israel/Palestine (initiated March 2010)
– Jerusalem: Wujoud Arab Orthodox Cultural Center and Museum (www.wujoud.org) with a branch in Bethlehem
Russia (initiated July 2010)
– Moscow: St. Daniil Monastery Youth Volunteers: project making bread with patients and doctors at the Russian Children’s Hospital, Moscow (www.danilovbells.com)
– St. Petersburg: Museum of Bread (http://www.russianmuseums.info/M165) and Fyodorov Subor Youth Center
Brazil (initiated December 2010)
– Florianopolis, Engenhos da Farinha Cultural Center/Ponto de Cultura coordinated by CEPAGRO, Slow Food Member (http://www.cepagro.org.br/projetos/ponto-de-cultura-engenhos-de-farinha/), cooperation as a result of our joint membership in Slow Food
– Campo Grande, Casa de Ensayo Cultural Center/Ponto de Cultura (http://www.casadeensaio.org.br), cooperation as a follow-up to the Casa de Ensayo participation in the Summer school ASSiST (Arts and Sciences for Sustainability in Social Transformation), organized by I3C at the Bread House in Gabrovo, Bulgaria, in 2010
– Rio de Janeiro: (initiated in July 2012, during the World Climate Change Summit) Cooperation offering the Bread House community methods to a bakery run by people with mental disabilities in Praia Vermelho; cooperation with Institute Maniva focused on promoting traditional cuisine as intangible heritage and resource for community empowerment through social enterprise
– Brasilia: (initiated in November 2012)
– Cooperation with social entrepreneur Eduardo Tavares towards establishing a Bread House bakery-social enterprise in Brasilia; Eduardo came to be trained in the Bread Houses social methods at the Bread House in Sofia, Bulgaria, in November 2015 and is planning various social engagement and development initiatives with low-income communities
– Cooperation with a local school in Brasilia and the Brasilia State University through the Pre-Texts program (www.pre-texts.org) based at Harvard University, integrating the Bread House methods in the Pre-Texts set of methodologies
– Long-term cultural cooperation project between cultural centers (pontos de cultura) in Brazil and in Bulgaria (Bread Houses and chitalishte cultural centers), through personal meetings of Dr. Nadezhda Savova with the President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, and the Deputy Minister of Culture
Hungary (initiated March 2011)
– Budapest: The Glove Factory Romani Cultural Center, district 8 (www.kesztyugyar.hu), programs for Roma and Hungarian cultural integration through arts
– The European Chamber (www.eucham.org), with main office in Budapest, developing cooperation on raising awareness of the need for social enterprises and the social business model and fomenting a new CSR culture
UK (initiated May 2011)
– London: Brixton, Wind Mill Project (www.brixtonwindmill.org) developing a community garden with wheat and vegetables to be cultivated by the people from all ethnic groups in “the most diverse neighborhood in the world”; Southbank Mosaics (www.southbankmosaics.com) training young offenders to develop public art works, where the collective bread-making events open up conversations and mutual support groups among the young offenders;
– Cambridge: the Cambridge University Café Project (www.cafeproject.org), a volunteer-run café: organized bread-making in order to mix university students, staff, and faculty with low-income local residents (including homeless people)
– Manchester: Band on the Wall (www.bandonthewall.org), running community music workshops for low-income and immigrant youth, planning cooperation with our “Kitchen music” method series
– Birmingham – Developing cooperation with South African community baker, artist and comedian Albert Smith on creating a Bread House in the UK and in the long run in his home country South Africa
USA (initiated May 2011)
– Princeton and Trenton, NJ: our first Mobile Bread House in Princeton, developed in cooperation with Princeton University’s Engineering Department, with a wood-fired oven and big round table inside a mobile structure on wheels, is aimed at taking the joy of collective bread-making to neighborhoods in the Princeton and Trenton areas. The Mobile Bread House is now coordinated by Pete Abrams and the Terra Momo Group (www.terramomo.com) in Princeton.
– New York: Emmaus House (http://www.emmaushouse-harlem.org/) social center serving the poor in East Harlem has been hosting baking events for the integration of various social groups (diverse ethnic, socio-economic, former prisoners and their families, homeless, and people with other backgrounds); in partnership with La Marqueta (116th and Park Avenue) at Breezy Hill Farm’s grocery, which owns one of few in the USA traditional French mobile and organic wood-fired ovens, farmer and food activist Elizabeth Ryan brought the oven to Harlem for the birth of the Harlem Bread House program for Christmas 2011.
– University of Massachusetts – Amherst Bread House program: UMAA-Amherst launched a Pioneer Valley Bread House project (https://blogs.umass.edu/breadhouse/) to engage its students with the local community in solving local issues and building trust and joy among generations, ethnic groups, and disadvantaged groups (veteran women with psychological trauma), and others.
– California, Colorado, Indiana, and Florida: individual local volunteers have undertaken the Bread House as an initiative for community building
– Michigan, Detroit: a Bulgarian, currently living in Detroit and trained in our methods at the Bread House in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, is currently working on developing a Detroit program with local schools and other organizations to nurture community creative development in economically and socially depressed areas
Spain (initiated October 2011)
– Barcelona: The international project TOUCH, funded by the European Cultural Foundation, with partners in Bulgaria, I3C and the FabriC Regional Cultural Center, Gabrovo; in Spain, University of Design, Barcelona; and in Denmark, Cultura 21 Nordic: organizing workshops for sight-impaired people to teach others how to open their senses beyond sight.
Mexico (initiated October 2011)
– Cuernavaca: cooperation with the Mexican Institute for Cultural Diplomacy on a project to implement the Bread Houses Network model as community spaces for artistic creativity and inter-generational dialogue in order to lower the violence among low-income youth.
Scotland (initiated March 2013)
– Cooperation with the national Real Bread Campaign and personally with its catalyst, baker Andrew Whitley: cooperation between the two organizations nurturing the new, social branch of the Real Bread Campaign, called Bread is Rising, aiming the social integration of people from disadvantaged groups through community baking programs.
– Aberdeen and Edinburgh: a local university student from Bulgaria is our intern will be working on developing our partnerships with organizations employing Down Syndrome patients as bakers as a model we will strive to further implement in Bulgaria
Serbia (initiated June 2013)
– Leskovatz: Bread House built (opened in December 2013) and operating on the border between Serbia and Bulgaria, in the Bulgarian village of Lobosh, due to a EU cross-border cooperation project (http://www.breadbgrs.eu); workshops have been organized in Lezkovatz, Serbia, to integrate people at an elderly-people’s home with local youth through collective bread-making
Tadjikistan (initiated fall 2012)
– Bulgarian Nadezhda Zdravkova, working with a development NGO in Tadjikistan, inspired a small village in the Pamir Mountains, on the border with Afghanistan, to create their own Bread House
Thailand (initiated July 2013)
– Chiang Rai, Northern Thailand: In cooperation with the Mirror Foundation, (http://www.themirrorfoundation.org/cms/), the Thai Bread House project goal is to bring hill-tribe women together and teach them the trade of baking and running a micro business within the community, aimed both at local community building and at developing cultural tourism, in a time when Northern Thailand is facing a huge increase in tourism. The idea is to provide opportunities to women, who are in many cases the income providers of their household, by teaching them the trade of baking and self-empowerment to fund the education of their children.
Switzerland (initiated August 2013)
– Bern: Bulgarian Hristina Cherkezova, trained at the Gabrovo Bread House, is developing community projects applying the Bread Houses Methods for the integration of low-income immigrants in Switzerland.
Portugal (initiated July 2014)
– Coimbra: Luis Serrano, a musician with a degree in Art Studies from Coimbra, Portugal, www.cornalusa.com, together with a group of other enthusiasts cultural and community workers from Coimbra initiated in 2014 the establishment of a Bread House in Coimbra by applying for support to the local municipality. The project is currently in progress (you can see Nadezhda’s TED talk translated in Portuguese by the Coimbra group).
– Auckland: the „Te Henga Studios“ (http://tehengastudios.com/) which are located in the beautiful Waitakere Ranges, next to Auckland: Sally and Philipp held some „Theater of crumbs“ workshops. Sally is an Art-Therapist and inspired of new ways of group-communications. She runs the “Studios” as an Eco-Art-Retreat for everybody. Philipp is a “BakePacker” from Germany, who travels with a sustainable mission. He is co-founder of the german Association: “Kornkreise“(engl. “Crop circles”). In July 2016: Te Henga Studios supported Philipp by helding some Bread-Workshops.
– Wellington: two people inspired about community baking and bread therapy – Molly Reeder and Simon Gray. Molly visited Bulgaria for training, and Simon the other already starting a community baking project in a poor neighbourhood Porirua, Wellington.
Germany (initiated in January 2016)
– Dresden: „Kornkreise“(engl. “crop circles”) is a charitable training initiative for sustainable development of society and ecosystems. “Kornkreise Dresden” organizes team building workshops and intercultural community baking events to build up cooperative neighborhood networks and to include disadvantaged people. It originated in Dresden / Germany and will grow out of it in future. www.facebook.com/kornkreisedresden