Debra Riddell - Breadshare

When IT consultants Debra Riddell and Geoff Crowe left Australia to go travelling, they never thought they would end up running a community bakery.

Breadshare bakery was established in the Scottish Borders and commenced baking in January 2012, originally formed by a group of local residents keen to have good bread available in the area. Debra and Geoff got involved after doing a breadmaking course locally and the couple initially commuted from London before making the move permanent.

They now employ several staff over various locations, as well as involving the community through providing opportunities for people to volunteer.

Each month Breadshare holds events for the community including sourdough workshops, bread making courses and workshops for adult and children groups. Their mission is to make good bread accessible to everyone and are passionate about the health benefits of bread “made the proper way with the best ingredients”.

Debra explained “We are making bread the way it was made 6000 years ago using just three ingredients – water, flour and a pinch of salt – and a sourdough slow-fermented method.“

Debra took part in the first round of LaunchMe in 2014, in order to scale and move to bigger premises in a more accessible location. The programme helped them to secure investment from both private investors and also a loan from Social Investment Scotland.

Since taking part in LaunchMe, they moved their bakery operations to Edinburgh in 2015 where they now have a cafe and bakery in Portobello as well as a shop in Leith. The couple want to see community bakeries throughout Scotland by franchising the Breadshare model.

Find out more about Breadshare