Humble Pie #InGoodCompany

  • Disruption
  • Place & Society
  • In Good Company

In Good Company… with Homebaked Bakery. As part of our ongoing series we catch up with business across the City Region to ask them the big question: what makes a ‘good’ business?

Homebaked Bakery sits in the shadow of Liverpool Football Club in North Liverpool. Its first job was to save the iconic neighbourhood bakery that is its home from demolition. The co-operative now includes a bakery production and training kitchen, shop and small café, with a range of fresh, affordable bread, cakes and pies made in-house, for retail and city-wide wholesale.

 

But it’s the pies that always take the limelight: Homebaked’s multi-award winning pies are famous not just locally, but nationally. They’ve provided the basis for a range of partnerships, including with Liverpool Football Club, and are the cornerstone of a thriving community business,

"We need to understand what our customers want and how we can maintain their expectations"

“Being a good business means we are delivering what we set out to do with our aims. That covers everything from supplying fresh bread daily and serving good quality food in our local area, to providing employment and training/volunteer opportunities to local people,” says Angela McKay, Homebaked Bakery’s operations manager.

“As a good business we need to understand what our customers want, how we can maintain their expectations of us as a community business and also continue our community work – that allows us to invest and grow the business to so it can be here for future generations.”

The process, of course, is one that requires continuous change. Homebaked Bakery has evolved since it took over the Mitchell’s Bakery building on the corner of Oakfield Road, saving it from demolition. But that progress hasn’t always been a straight line.

“We’re looking to see how we can change our offering to our customers over the next three-to-six months,” admits Angela. “This will allow us to stabilise the business so it’s more finically solid, which then allows us to continue to offer good quality food, employment opportunities and training to more people.

We’re overhauling all of our running costs and costings, our wholesale offer and how we develop our training programme, to help continue to offer people the opportunity to get experience and qualifications that will help them secure future employment.

 

By changing aspects of how we operate it will allow us to grow and develop Homebaked Bakery into a thriving community business which the community can enjoy.”

 

The last two years have brought unforeseen challenges for businesses everywhere – none more so than in the retail and hospitality sectors. Homebaked Bakery has provided vital services for its community during that period. Angela says: “I think it’s vital for us to look at all our commercial avenues to make sure that we can survive the next year or two and overcome the last 23 months. We need to develop our strategies in certain areas – this will need financial and developmental structures in place.

"when they were called upon to help the city in a time of need, they were able to step up"

As a business, we need to understand if the financial investment will underpin the foundation of the community business. We’ve been building strategic partnership with local organisations and this will allow the business to make strategic business decisions.”

For businesses operating with a social purpose, the impact of the pandemic has only made their work more urgent. They face increased demands on their own businesses, alongside greater need from their communities. “I’m immensely proud of what Liverpool was achieving before the pandemic hit us,” says Angela.

“We’ve always had lots of grassroots community groups and small local businesses and organisations. These groups were already doing great work in their communities for vulnerable and social isolated individuals and groups.

So, when they were called upon to help the city in a time of need, they were able to step up, upscale their operations and offer their unique services in what were challenging and worrying times.

These groups also gave their knowledge, experiences, and support to other people in how they could help people in a respectful and dignified manner,” she adds.

Find our more about Homebaked Bakery by emailing [email protected], or take a look at its social media channels: @HomebakedBakery (Twitter) and @HomebakedBakery_ (Instagram)

 

Join us #InGoodCompany

Rob Bremner is a British documentary and editorial photographer, studying at Wallasey College of Art and the School of Documentary Photography at Newport.

He spent summer 2021 capturing good businesses across Liverpool City Region, for the Good Business Festival’s #InGoodCompany series.

Follow Rob Bremner on instagram. 

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