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August 10, 2011

Rethink the meaning of ‘shop local’

We all lament the demise of the local butcher, baker and greengrocer but yet we’re all complicit in their decline – how many of us resist the lure of the supermarket?  While the big four inevitably win out on price and choice, some believe the survival of the local shop depends on reshaping the relationship between producers/retailers and their local customer base. An interesting take on this theme was launched last week by a bakery in East Lothian

I’m sure at least some of you by now will have heard something about a new community supported bakery, opening in the old farm shop at Whitmuir.

Breadshare is a community supported bakery, borrowing from the community supported agriculture model, so (hopefully) some people will pledge to buy a certain amount of bread and pay upfront for their supply. Others may lend money in the form of a bread bond… We hope to have breadbaskets (or panniers) who, making use of journeys already taken, to work, the gym, school etc, will help us to distribute our breads to the wider community without increasing our carbon footprint. We hope, eventually, to be a conduit for real bread to get to people and places who might not usually be able to access it.

We celebrated our launch on the 1st of August, Lammas, the traditional date for celebrating the wheat and grain harvest. We had speeches from Andrew Whitley explaining why bread matters, children’s activities (including the wonderful Mrs Mash) and a chance for folk to talk to us and tell us how they’d like to be involved and support us. We baked a long lamancha lammas loaf for the occasion to cut up and shared, made with a percentage of wheat grown and harvested at Whitmuir and milled just a few minutes away at Macbiehill it’s a really local loaf!

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