Community bakery seeks support from furloughed chefs

Companions bread
Photo credit: Cat Lane

A community bakery which offers work experience and training to ex-offenders, is reaching out to furloughed chefs and kitchen staff to ask for their support.

A number of the staff and volunteers at Companions CIC, based at The Gallery on Howard Street, are having to shield, which means the bakery is short-staffed.

To help plug the gap, they’re looking for some short-term additional support – ideal for someone with commercial kitchen experience who is currently on furlough.

Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, furloughed staff are able to volunteer for other organisations.

The bakery is renowned for its popular genuine sourdough and, under normal circumstances, they provide bread to many of the area’s best restaurants and cafes.

Its popularity hasn’t waned during the pandemic – probably because of the immunity-boosting properties widely attributed to fermented foods – so the bakery is still busy despite many of their wholesale customers having to remain closed.

“While this is great, it does mean extra hard work and long hours for the skeleton staff that remains at work,” expalined Companions’ director, Maggie Rich.

“So offers of help from skilled hands will be welcomed with open arms.”

Due to the staff shortages, Companions doesn’t currently have the capacity to offer full training to new volunteers.

“But we could really use extra support from people who are at home in a commercial kitchen or bakery, used to working with food, can slot into the groove and pick up the relevant skills and processes quickly and easily,” said Maggie.

Any interested chefs should contact in the first instance.

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