The three founder members of the co-operative are Simon Garrod (Zig), Phil Dacey and Ian Fitzpatrick.
Zig has been working with food for many years having worked in four different bakeries. All of them used organic flour and made bread using only sourdough fermentation. He has studied food as an aspect of health completing a diploma in Nutrition and a BSc in Herbal Medicine. He traveled for many years and spent some time staying and working on farms and communities that were experimenting with organic, bio-dynamic and permaculture growing techniques. He has worked in practice for many years advising patients on diet, health and prescribing herbal medicines. Alongside setting up a community bakery he can currently be found picking hawthorn, bilberries and elderberries to make winter tonic tinctures.
Phil’s interest in food began with a concern for the provenance of the things he bought and ate including concerns about industrial food production methods stripping nutrition and flavour from food in exchange for cheap production costs and high production volumes. A happy consequence of this desire to make and eat properly produced food was his realisation that food made this way just tastes better. After gaining a degree in English and Philosophy and subsequently retraining as an arboricultural surveyor, he fell into baking during a period of little work. His friend was looking for a baker to help with a new bakery project so he started working there for free and taught himself on-the-job. After a month or so he became the sole baker and, after a little over a year there managed to create a profit making bakery that supplied real, slow fermented, high quality bread to bars, restaurants and customers across Leeds. After working as a baker for this time he feels he has found a career that will be satisfying for many years to come.
Ian was born in Italy and grew up surrounded by food-obsessed Italians! After completing his PhD in anthropology, he travelled around southern Europe visiting a range of food enterprises on small-scale farms. It was a visit to a farm with a bakery in Tuscany that got him interested in the idea of starting one up himself. Back in the UK he worked as a baker for 4 months at the highly successful E5 Bakehouse in Hackney, continuing to experiment with unusual grains and flours from home. He recently participated in a Wheat Free Bread baking course at the School of Artisan Food and is particularly keen to produce unusual slow fermented breads (buckwheat, kamut, etc). He is currently a trainee with the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, working with children in schools on food growing projects. He hopes to use his practical and teaching experiences in the bakery by hosting classes and inspiring the future generation of bakers.