In the last week of May, Albert Smith, an artist and baker from Birmingham, United Kingdom visited Sofia Bread House and Social Enterprise with the aim to lay the foundations of the first Bread Houses- Social Bakeries outside Bulgaria. Through the Slow Food Network Albert got interested in the unique model of HedgeHope bakeries and came to meet the Founder and President of the Bread Houses Network in person. During this week, he learned the ropes of the Bulgarian sourdough rye and einkorn wheat breads and got introduced to several of the community baking methods of the Bread Houses Network. Albert also participated actively in the traditional Saturday community baking and impressed everybody with his bread decorations, which he learned from his grandfather – also a baker.
Originally from South Africa, Albert has been living in the United Kingdom for the past 15 years. He started a small community bakery – Ubuntu Handmade Bread (http://www.ubuntubread.co.uk/) and recently combined bread with another talent of his – comedy and story-telling. In his acts he uses bread as a performance tool. Albert plans to establish a social enterprise – community bakeries inspired by the bread house model in Birmingham and South Africa and believes that the current situation in South Africa is ready for bread to be used as a tool to empower the people especially in Johannesburg.
You can learn more about the social enterprise model of the bread houses and the social franchise here: www.breadhousesnetwork.org/social-enterprise/