By Nicola Robson, Marketing Manager
Rise Bakery started out a year ago today selling three flavours of brownies online from our base in Aldgate. As part of homelessness charity Providence Row we already had a kitchen, brilliant chefs, a fantastic group of baking trainees and volunteers, and a small bakery wholesale social enterprise, but we had never sold any products online before. It was an entirely new venture, with new products, name and website. I remember anticipating the launch on April 4th with both excitement and trepidation, not knowing what 2016 would bring.
A year on our fledgling social enterprise really has risen. Since our launch in April 2016 we’ve won prestigious awards like A Great Taste award for our white chocolate and raspberry brownie, and come runner up at the Third Sector Awards for best re-brand. The Observer’s Jay Rayner and Great British Menu’s Matthew Fort have tried our brownies, and loved them! And we’ve have shout-outs on Twitter from cooking legends Nigella Lawson and Nadiya Hussain. We’ve run stalls in Spitalfields Market, taken part in food festivals and are now on the verge of launching three new products including a mocha brownie, an orange & coconut brownie and a biscotti, a recipe brought to us by Andrea our lead baker who joined us in 2016.
We couldn’t have done it alone! We’ve had help from a food designer in developing the new brownie flavours. Advertising agency Unreal UK developed our new brand pro bono with great results. And a brilliant group of volunteers have helped us build and develop the website, sold our products at stalls as well as supported us with a range of other tasks to help us get off the ground. The Big Issue supported us with several features in their magazine, and even asked us to bake their 20th birthday celebration cake which featured their first ever front cover.
The icing on the cake is that beyond all this Rise Bakery has supported 13 bakery trainees in the last year (through our accredited bakery trainee scheme) with seven of them having achieved accreditations with us. Our trainees will always be at the heart of what we do and we would like to thank them, and all of our customers, friends and partners for being part of this wonderful community. We’re looking forward to another jam-packed year ahead.