Leading London contract caterer Vacherin has announced Luminary Bakery as its charity partner from 2017 – having worked with them informally for a number of years. This Hackney-based social enterprise offers opportunities for disadvantaged women who have experienced social and economic hardship such as sexual exploitation, homelessness and substance abuse. It offers them training and community support to help them gain skills and build a better future for themselves and their families.
The Bakery sells artisan baked goods on Brick Lane and supplies other London businesses on a wholesale basis – with all profit reinvested back into the charity. They will soon be opening their very own café in Stoke Newington, adding an additional revenue stream to support the work they do in the community.
This new partnership will see Vacherin able to offer more holistic support, through avenues such as: fundraising donations; project collaborations to help build Luminary’s services; donation of hardware to support their community café; and lastly by continuing its highly popular staff volunteering programme.
As part of its wider ongoing commitment to its employees, their families and the surrounding communities, all Vacherin team members can take two days paid leave annually to support charities. Many have taught the Luminary attendees culinary skills that the beneficiaries can use domestically or commercially. This is just one part of its award-winning approach to embedding CSR in its business, based on commitments to champion innovation in three ways: food, environment and community.
Vacherin Executive Chef and Luminary volunteer Shane Cooke: “It is humbling and rewarding to be able to help- I genuinely want to inspire the women at Luminary in the same way I inspire people who eat the food I prepare. Honestly you get so much out of it personally.”
Alice Boyle, Founder Luminary Bakery: “I started Luminary because I saw desperate need in my community – women with genuine hardship. Our six month programme takes them on a journey to employability by teaching baking techniques and life skills. Partnering with Vacherin is incredible. It gives us access to amazing people with passion and experience that we simply would not have otherwise.”
Zoe Stennett-Cox, Vacherin’s Lead on Sustainability & CSR: “Luminary Bakery is the perfect fit for Vacherin. Having supported them through our volunteering scheme, formalising this support by making them our official partner charity feels like the ideal next step. We’ll be able to commit even more resources to making a real difference for a small charity right on our doorstep.”