Homebaked is co-operative producing 3,000 pies, 300 sausage rolls, 250 loaves and 250 scones a week and has secured £61,000 via First Ark Social Investment. Tony McDonough reports
A community bakery in north Liverpool that produces Scouse and Shankly pies has secured a substantial investment from First Ark Group.
Homebaked is a co-operative bakery and café, located between Everton and Anfield, producing 3,000 pies, 300 sausage rolls, 250 loaves and 250 scones a week and is looking to ramp up production to meet rising demand for its products.
The business successfully applied for £61,000 from First Ark Social Investment, a division of the First Ark social housing group that provides finance for social enterprises and charities.
The cash comprises a grant of £15,500 and a loan of £45,500 from the Growth Fund provided by Access and its funding partners The National Lottery Community Fund and Big Society Capital.
It will go towards helping Homebaked become a larger wholesale producer, expand the increasingly-popular café, attend more markets, create new roles and offer more volunteer placements and training courses.
Homebaked won 10 medals (one gold, six silver and three bronze) in this year’s British Pie Awards and the bakery is renowned for its savoury pastries and varieties include the ‘Shankly’ pie made with steak, bacon, mushroom and onion, the ‘Scouse’ pie containing a beef stew and the ‘Blue’ flavoured with steak and cheese.
Prices start from £2.50 and pastries are sold in the shop on Oakfield Road, on Lark Lane, in Granby and in the Baltic Market. The bakery also supplies Liverpool Football Club with 700 pies per game.
First Ark Social Investment also mentored Homebaked when drafting a robust business plan and helped write an application to access £14,000 from The Reach Fund, a national grant programme that helps charities and social enterprises raise investment.
The investment will help fund a healthy eating course for children; space to run regular community baking courses; and hree permanent part-time jobs, 20 volunteer placements and 10 work placements for young people.
And it is estimated that for every £1 invested, a social return of £20.37 will be generated.
Invest in Anfield
Sally-Anne Watkiss, treasurer of Homebaked, said: “Investment has given us a chance to grow, employ more people, bake more produce and more importantly re-invest in Anfield and its residents.
Our prized pies are famous throughout Liverpool and if we want to continue making 3,000 a week we need the right equipment and premises to do it. The funding from First Ark Social Investment has made a huge difference because we need to expand our premises to cope with demand.
“We’re now renting an industrial space in Bootle which was previously a food business, so the right kit is already installed. We’ve also been able to buy extra tables, shelves, a mixer, an oven, a fridge and freezer, as we want to scale-up production and extend our café to welcome more customers.”
Leann Hearne, group chief executive of First Ark Group, added: “Homebaked is helping to bring back that sense of community in Anfield and improving access to quality food. It has become the cornerstone of the neighbourhood and not only offers delicious homemade produce but also inspires budding bakers through training courses and employs 15 local people and 30 volunteers.”