Having written about, advised, devised, calculated, presented, facilitated, trained and lived sustainable practice for 20 years, Ed Synnott had a burning desire to get into a business in the real economy to make some change on the street.
With a life-long passion for baking combined with serious intolerance to gluten, Ed decided to set up a gluten-free bakery along with two other Directors including Jane McLaughlin of The Lunar Works. With no roadmap, and with the available product on the market tasting a step up from cardboard, there was a job to do. Our goal at Sussex Bread Company was to create quality, artisan gluten free bread, made with love. We achieved this and more, winning the 2014 Tiptree World Bread Awards (Gluten Free Category) in our first year of opening, and medalling in the two subsequent years. Our breads were the talk of the town in Brighton and the South-East and we helped to push the bar on quality and acceptability for gluten free product.
We were also proud early adopters and supporters of the Share The Warmth Scheme – providing free hot drinks to homeless and those in need. To further assist homeless people in the South East we supported Worthing Churches Homeless Project through regular food donations.
We were proud ethical purchasers, using fairtrade or higher supplies of coffee, hot chocolate, tea, sugar and meat products; and our takeaway cups were both compostable and biodegradable. We hired our staff locally, paying at or above the London Living Wage.
There are many things to be said and digested (pardon the pun) from running a micro-business in the real economy.
Ed collaborated with co-director, Jane McLaughlin on a guide to the myths and hard truths from working in the artisan end of the hospitality industry.