So I was delighted when she got in touch this week to alert me to her latest venture: a new social enterprise café, Luminary Bakery. Located on a quiet back street in London’s Stoke Newington, the venture is in collaboration with local community charity, Kahaila Women’s Projects. With the kitchen already operating successfully as a wholesale bakery, supplying many London external cafés and businesses, the community café has now opened it’s doors to the public, with a view to being open 7 days a week from late August 2017.
Luminary grew from Kahaila Women’s Projects as an innovative response to the need for support for women with social and economic disadvantages. Through baking, women are taken on a journey to employability and entrepreneurship, equipping them with transferrable skills to use in the working world.
Aiming to break generational cycles of abuse, prostitution, criminal activity and poverty, Luminary offer courses, work experience and paid employment within the bakery, empowering women to build their career and a brighter future.
Nina has designed the café to offer to be a home-away-from-home for the bakers and customers alike, with the kitchen and café evoking a stylish family home pieced together from objects old and new. The spacious setting has been conceived with accessibility and young families in mind, with flexible furniture enabling the space to adapt to workshops and other events, in a similar manner to the design of her previous social enterprise café venture, Dean Street Café.
Working to an exceptionally modest budget Nina+Co have carefully curated a selection of second hand furniture, donated items and thrifty details, including adapting vintage madeleine baking tins to make delicate bespoke wall lights and old jelly moulds to make mini pendant lights – clever, huh?
As testament to the power of the project, a wonderful array of British manufacturers also showed their generosity. In particular; iconic English furniture manufacturer Ercol who generously donated the handmade, black lacquered loveseats and stacking chairs, and stone experts Diespeker & Co, who supplied stunning counter tops, cut from their premium terrazzo that incorporates waste products from the marble industry that would otherwise be discarded.
Hands up who wants to join me for coffee and cake here next time I’m in town..
→Luminary Bakery, 71-73 Allen Road, Stoke Newington, Hackney, N16
All photography © Anna Stathaki for Luminary Bakery, used with permission.