Dunbar Community Bakery

A Scottish town can continue its 150 year baking tradition by opening the only bakery in the area, thanks to financial assistance from The Co-operative Loan Fund.

The community of Dunbar has a lot to be excited about, thanks to the opening of their new community-owned bakery in October 2011, the only one in town. It all started in 2008 when the long-standing Smith’s family bakery, which had been serving the residents since the mid-1800s, closed when the owner retired. Market research was carried out to determine the need for fresh bread in the area, and the findings were summed up by the sentiment that every high street needs a bakery.

Meetings were held, attracting dozens of people. With the help of the local development trust, the plan to reopen the former Smith’s bakery as a sustainable, community-run enterprise was realised. It would be called Dunbar Community Bakery, and attracted 300 community members who raised almost £40,000 through the purchase of community shares.

Dunbar Community Bakery found a location on a well-located high street spot in a former newsagents shop. The Co-operative Loan Fund gave the bakery a loan to help with renovations and to pay for new, professional baking equipment, including state-of-the-art ovens.

Dunbar Community Bakery specialises in high-quality artisan traditional bakery products with no additives, using quality, locally sourced ingredients. The staff consists of three professional bakers with 65 years of combined experience, along with an appointed front-of-house team.

Aside from providing warm tasty bakery products, the bakery has a social agenda as well. It plans to provide training and employment opportunities for locals, along with developing apprenticeships and support to local schools to share baking skills. Beyond that, all profits will be reinvested back into the community.

Janet Barnes, committee-member and business development consultant and trainer said: “Many of us wanted to be involved in developing a certain bakery, not a chain, that would serve good old-fashioned bread and develop the community at the same time. Without the loan finance it wouldn’t have gone ahead, the assistance has been vital.”

Dunbar is a small, coastal town east of Edinburgh and just north of the English border.

Ian Taylor of The Co-operative Loan Fund said: “Dunbar Community Bakery is the story of a community that has stuck at a plan through thick and thin. I am confident the bakery will be a success, it is run by professionals, located in a good spot and will no doubt bake delicious food.”

For further information about The Bakery Dunbar visit: thebakerydunbar.co.uk