We are a company guided by the Latin meaning of the word: “cum panis”, “sharing bread with friends”?
The NadEzhko bakeries, developed under the company NadEzhko, are part of the Bread Houses Network and offer an innovative mix of an organic bakery with interactive bake-house and a community center, where people of all walks of life, socially excluded groups and people with disabilities mix to regularly make, bake, and break bread together. The company sells both high-quality breads and other boutique foods and unique services (Bread building team building; Theatre of Crumbs events; Bread in the Dark/BIND, led by blind people). The company’s 10 unique methods of bread-making with diverse art forms are proven internationally as a new form of art therapy “bread therapy”.
The NadEzhko bakeries are planned as a social franchise, with bakeries in neighborhoods around the world serving also as the local community and social integration center. The bakeries have the mission to train and employ as bakers low-income people and orphans (bakers, team building trainers, and community organizers), as well as people with diverse special needs and potential to develop good social skills (sight-impaired, handicapped, people with Down Syndrome, etc.) to be our community workshop facilitators in the collective bread-making events. The mission of these bakeries is to serve as the community gathering points that reignite local traditions, educate about solidarity, equality in diversity, cooperation in sustainable living and nutrition, arts and creativity.
We currently have two social enterprise bakeries in Bulgaria operating in Sofia and Gabrovo, where we have trained and employed orphans as bakers. Our plan and vision is to expand and open more bakeries in Bulgaria and in a few other countries and after achieving a critical mass of clients, profits, and popularity, the network will evolve as a social franchise with new NadEzhko bakeries opened by pro-active franchisees.
If you are interested in starting your own bakery, we welcome you to consider our NadEzhko model and contact us for more information!
Publications and reports
- А report for the Bread Houses on the Brazilian online edition Dive in social: Bread Houses Network: food connects people, May 2016
- Bread Houses Network is given as an example of social innovation created in Bulgaria and exported to the world. The model is discussed in relation to the future perspectives for Bulgaria’s development as a leader in the field of social innovations “Destination number one”, written by Georgi Kamov.
- Innovations Social Business: The Bread House, Forbes Bulgaria #30, Sep 2013
- Capital (Newspaper): Замесено с любов – вестник Капитал (Kneaded with love) (21.12.2013)
- Capital (Newspaper): „Bread Houses спечели българския конкурс за социални бизнес идеи“) (Bread Houses won Bulgarian contest for social business ideas)
- Bulgaria OnAir TV: „Социалният бизнес – мисия възможна!” (Social business – mission possible!)
- Capital (Newspaper): „Дал бизнес добро” (Good examples of social enterprises)
- Bulgaria OnAir TV: „На гости в Хлебна къща – Фурна “НадЕжко” (A Visit to Sofia Bread House – Nadezhko Social Bakery)
Our methods create a tradition: we have managed to transform a simple and universally-known activity (bread-making), traditionally limited to the home, the kitchen, and women, and turn it into a range of socially transformative activities, from community empowering workshops to corporate team building and CSR strategy, from therapy for people with special needs to educational program for alternative creative careers for low-income youth. Bread-making became a new and even fashionable cultural experience engaging both men and women and people of all ages and classes, inspiring them to appreciate the diversity and seek the unity!
This is more than just a business, there are many touching personal stories behind our enterprise, where people’s lives have been transformed in the same way that the dough is transformed into bread!
It`s already an award-winning idea, with a rich history behind each bread we make and each program we have, for which our founder, Dr. Nadezhda Savova, was recognized as National Geographic Traveler of the Year 2012 for her “travels with a mission” linked to social work in more than 70 countries around the globe. Her mission is to research bread traditions of various cultures and organize community development programs, and thus our unique recipes also have unique personal and cultural stories behind them.
From out first bakery-social enterprise Bread House in Gabrovo, Bulgaria, already proven as a business model, we plan to spread a model of social franchise nationally and internationally, and we are open to cooperation with interested communities and companies. In our social business, we seek to apply principles from the Community Supported Baking model evolving in the UK, as we have had personal contact through trainings and cooperation with its founder, Andrew Whitley.
What new do we bring to the social enterprise field
General types of social enterprises (according to Dr. Nadezhda Savova)
1) With social process of production = training and employment of vulnerable groups in order to enhance personal realization and social inclusion
2) Producing product/service with social impact= the product/service itself has no particular social impact, but the profits from it fund social solutions and a programs
3) Producing social product/service, or social innovation = a product/service that itself solves a social problem and is usually an innovative solution, thus also a “social innovation”
Our Bread Houses Model: 3 in 1
1) Our social process is bread-making done by people from vulnerable groups we train
2) Our social impact programs for integration and therapy in Bulgaria and in each country where we have BH programs Gains from the bread sales finance (ex: profits from the Brazilian bread support the Brazilian programs)
3) Our social product is traditional and ecological breads of the world, which save dying cultural traditions and values + are ecological; beneficial for ill/special needs people. Our social service is the collective bread-making event series, some of which will be paid (team-building; celebrations; classes) and some will be for free for the disadvantaged groups to be the event facilitators and mix with other people in an informal and welcoming context
We are good in:
- Inspiring companies and communities with a simple and unique idea: Our idea is powerful with its simplicity.
- Organizing engaging activities: We have created a new tradition and a unique collective art form, with our own different methods applied with diverse groups, boosting the individual and collective creativity with no boundaries for age, culture, professions, education, or physical or mental abilities.
- Multiplying social change in a fast snow-ball effect: in 4 years, 16 countries and close to 40 cities with about 200 trained community facilitators-volunteers on 5 continents. We do not limit the people to “target groups” but strive to bring together the widest possible range of people in our community workshops: we integrate successfully people of all backgrounds.
- Expanding the deeper psychological experiences into an overall social impact.
- Our methods touch people, as the aroma of hot bread and the metaphors we weave in the baking wake up childhood memories and the dormant “good” in each person’s heart!
What solution does our social enterprise bring to the market?
- We create new and creative (green) jobs for disadvantaged people who not only produce a product but are actively engaged and integrated in society through the regular community workshops and other events these people help facilitate
- Our network of Bread Houses combats the unhealthy fast food lifestyle causing obesity and passive consumerism by inspiring people to make their own bread and also selling high quality, nutritious, and environmentally friendly artisan products.
- Our “make-your-own-bread” concept is also therapeutic for various people as it invites them to slow down their pace and find balance in their lives
- Our community building workshops heal the diluted social interactions and awaken people’s suppressed creativity through a co-creative process.
Why we use bread as metaphor and practice to spur social entrepreneurship and innovation?
- We inspire people using in creative ways the popular bread-related idioms about entrepreneurship – (in English) “winning one’s daily bread”; “dough” as money; “company” as “people sharing bread” from Latin, etc.; (in Bulgarian) “there is bread in this idea”; “a person/project that has a good leavening”, etc.
- We simplify the words and terminology around “social enterprise” and “social innovation” through the most basic and in many ways universal collective activity – sharing food, and in particular, bread as the most basic food of all.
- We materialize the practice of entrepreneurship through collective action and sharing, as people get excited to discuss the outcome of their bread as a somewhat materialization of their personal and collective emotions.
- We equalize the access to the ideas and practice of social entrepreneurship and innovation by engaging people of all socio-economic classes, ages, and ethnic groups, not the often small, even privileged and elite group of educated and creative young people, which is usually the catalyst of social entrepreneurship in the West.
- We bring to one table people of all walks of life to not only talk, in the standard “round table” manner, but to truly engage with each and share ideas about creative social enterprises other around the round table by making, baking, and breaking bread – the embodiment of the word “company” in its original sense.
- We create the nurturing environment, the welcoming platform for the discussion and practice of social entrepreneurship.
Our social enterprise brand “NadEzkho” sends the message to avoid pricking others, to be above anger and rivalry. We translate the wordplay to different languages used by the organizations we cooperate with:
English: “HedgeHope” (hopping with hope over any hedge/difficulty)
German: “SchutzIgel” (similar to SchutzEngel – guardian angel)
Italian: “SorRiccio” (sorriso – smile; riccio –hedgehog)
And similar in other latin languages:
Portuguese: “SorOuriço” (sorriso –smile; ouriço – hedgehog);
French: SourHérisson (sourire –smile; hérisson – hedgehog).
That is why the mission and success of our social enterprise and social franchise model can be synthesized in our goal to help other companies and organizations become “hedgehopes” changing their communities by “selling” hope rather than simple bread or other products.
In the trainings in social entrepreneurship we offer through our Social Enterprise School we further employ the metaphor of the hedgehog to nurture the right spirit of a social entrepreneur. Building on the Hedgehog Concept developed by James Collins in his bestseller on business strategies Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t, we have developed our complementary HedgeHOPE Concept on how to create successful social businesses.
Better than hedgeFUND – we create a hedgeHOPE!