My journey into starting a micro bakery

I cannot believe that I have come to this stage in my life.I am a 53 year old with no prospects, no future and no job.Yes I use mental health services to get me over my black moods.

I picked up a pamphlet in my GP surgery that asked if you want to build up your self confidence, make new friends and learn to make new friends and learn to speak over a micro phone.I answered yes to all the questions  and attended a 6 week training course for stand-up comics.

I do not know what happened, I enjoyed the course, I did my fisrt standup show and the rest is history.I do gig at least twice a month and the truly amazing thing is that I was able to articulate my longterm vision to become a self employed person.

I had many ideas in my head for projects,

  • like an ironing service
  • sausage and smoked meat manufacturing
  • even wanted to do hog roasts

I attended a workshop called Birmingham Big Ideas and when some one asked me what I truly like to do, I answered very casually bake bread.

That sealed it for me, I was introduced to a network of people, I baked bread every time I went to meet any person who I wanted to share my bread idea with.

I received  funding to start the micro bakery and I am now well on the way to start baking bread for my living.I am meeting very talented and creative people in the process.I have made new friends and I can honestly say that if I compare my life to a year ago it is much better. Last year this time, i was ready to commit suicide and saw now hope for myself, short of avoiding being sectioned to a mental hospital, my friends avoided that and stepped in to support me.

I now have hope, found freedom to express myself, through comedy and bread baking. i think I found my button so to speak.

I guess I need to explain why bread? I was a very precocious child, inquisitive and enquiring too. I think I was a handful to my parents.My paternal grandfather was a community baker and he baked in a wood fired oven and I loved to watch him make bread and he used to teach me how to make bread by letting me mix flour water yeast and salt to bake my own bread. Those were happy times and very good days.The smell of fresh baked bread still remind me of home.

I moved to Birmingham from South Africa and I always baked bread. In Birmingham I baked for friends and sometimes for therapy as well.Bread makes me connect with other people because that share their  opinions and comments freely  whilst eating my bread.

The first time I realised that bread could become a source of income was when I visited Love Loaves in Oxford.I forgot that my beloved grandpa got paid for his bread, but then I did not pay attention.

I trained as a nurse and spent 32 years  doing that and in the end I realized I lost my passion.When I told my grandpa about my decision to become a nurse he was most uncomplimentary and said “you should become a chef there are enough people who can be nurses but few who can be chefs and bakers” well grandpa (oupa) I have now come full circle and I am taking the plunge to do what I discovered I love.

In a few weeks I will be ready to trade as Ubuntu Handmade Bread somewhere in Birmingham.I will write about my experience finding premises to situate the bakery and how I experienced it

In the mean time take care of yourself , enjoy yourself and do something different.




15 Responses to “My journey into starting a micro bakery”

  1. jo May 20, 2012 at 6:50 pm #

    tried your bread today at court lane show it was delightfull.your fat cakes were a real treat and even hit the spot with the the blog good on you.happy baking

    • ubuntuhandmadebread May 21, 2012 at 6:56 am #

      Thank you very much. I am so glad. nothing like real bread for comfort food. I will post a new blog soon
      Thank you for supporting me and my journey to employment

  2. rich jeffries July 16, 2012 at 8:43 pm #

    My sister and I loved your fat cakes (I think that’s what they were), which we ate at the Edible Eastside event on Saturday – thank you very much for them. Very best of luck in the future too – your past life gives me inspiration and hope for us all.

    • ubuntuhandmadebread July 17, 2012 at 6:28 am #

      Thank you Rich I am encouraged by your kind comment and love the fact that I can reach people and connect with them again. have a great day and look after yourself. Albert

  3. Anita September 25, 2012 at 5:22 pm #

    Hi Albert,
    I came across your blog while doing a search on micro-bakeries. I was struck by some of our similarities in regards to our life story. I’m 49 and I’ve just recently become interested in bread making….there something magical about it (and delicious too when it comes out right). I have dreams of opening a micro-bakery one day…much luck to you and great success.

  4. chidi January 31, 2013 at 8:12 am #

    pls i’m a young man that wants to start his own bakery business but i dont have a clue how and dont have a friend to advice me. Pls can u be my friend and give me some help on how to start and some good recipe that u use?

    I will be greatful and honored if you help.
    Thanks in advance

  5. Tosin February 18, 2013 at 12:03 pm #


    I am very happy i came across your story.

    Last month, I went to a bakery and I was inspired to set up mine. Right now, I currently work with a Telecoms company in Nigeria, but I want to go to South Africa to learn how to bake all sorts of breads – white, wheat and artisan, croissants etc.

    Please do you have a school or individual you believe would be able to teach me all i need to know to bake and set up a micro bakery using wood – fired oven?

    Looking forward to your reply. Thanks.

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  1. Ubuntu Handmade Bread | Digbeth is Good - August 13, 2012

    […] Read more about Albert’s story here. […]

  2. Ubuntu Handmade Bread | My Digbeth - August 13, 2012

    […] Read more about Albert’s story here. […]

  3. Really Nice Food | The Birmingham food movement - August 8, 2013

    […] What I loved about Ubuntu Handmade Bread is that the ingredients are locally sourced, the flour comes from Shipton Mill in Gloucestershire, while the free-range eggs, from Birmingham’s very own Outdoor Market. Albert is so charismatic and passionate about bread baking you can read his journey into micro bakery here: […]

  4. My journey into starting a micro bakery | ubuntuhandmadebread - December 1, 2014

    […] My journey into starting a micro bakery […]

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