Say hello to Ruth, one of our wonderful bakers (and members). Ruth will be taking over our instagram account this week to share her experience of lockdown.
“I’ve been working as a baker at Leeds Bread Co-op for four and a half years; it’s where I really got to grips with making sourdough bread and working as part of a baking team experienced in this specific kind of bread. I started my baking career studying at Leeds City College, having left university with no idea what I wanted to do and needing a distraction from a mundane desk job. Having learnt how to make mass manufactured products (too many swiss rolls to count) and having spent a few weeks working in a French bakery, I realised my love for baking bread was as great as my love for eating it.
Sourdough and all of its complexities, both in its production and flavour, was what I wanted to master most; having worked for a short time producing bread for a local café, I lucked out getting my current job at Leeds Bread Co-op. Not only have I gained significant knowledge and skills in making sourdough bread, I’ve had the opportunity to become a member and director of the business, taking part in all aspects of business decision making from finance to marketing to strategy. Having never been part of a co-operative business before, it opened my eyes to how businesses could be run in a collaborative way between workers, with more transparency than I’d experienced in any other workplace before. There’s still the responsibility and stress that can come with having oversight of business, particularly right now, but it’s great having the support of colleagues who have the same shared interest in keeping the business going and not just for financial gain.
Aside from carrying out member/director work, while the bakery is currently closed and I’m unable to do my core job, baking at home has become essential both for my own supply of bread and to keep me occupied. Basically I’m dedicating most days to cooking, while I’m fortunate to have the extra time, which anyone who knows me will know isn’t an unusual thing. So as I take over the Leeds Bread Co-op instagram account, keep an eye out on for bakes, home brewing, some amateur gardening and a bit of knitting.”