Project Knead Trebles Training Target
Exceeding the initial goal of 223, Project Knead and its squad of regional bakers are celebrating trebling their target with 700 team members trained in the art of baking, marking one-year of our baking revolution.
Project Knead was launched to boost chefs’ confidence in bread-making, bringing fresh bread back to our locations, teaming up with local millers to use more heritage flour.
Chefs of all levels across six regions have embraced the art of bread-making, learning to bake soda bread, pinch-back loaf and focaccia. This creativity has seen regional flour sales rise by 73% in 2023, with an additional 354 cases of local flour purchased by our bakers.
Regional chef manager and Project Knead baker, Denise Dowling has run 11 workshops, three food festivals and five pop ups. She said: “Baking is in my blood. I’m a fourth-generation baker on my Dad’s side and second on my Mum’s. I grew up around it, so was absorbed by the world of baking. After being disheartened by so many bread suppliers compromising on quality, I’m determined to help bring real baking back into our industry”.
The campaign has also expanded onto the high street, with our cafes at Winchester Cathedral and Rothesay Rooms featured within the top three regional flour purchases this year.
To celebrate this dough-tastic success, we’ve got something even bigger in the oven for 2024. We’re expanding our bread repertoire with ciabatta, burger buns, sourdough and a regional baker’s choice.
Rik Razza, head of chef development is proud of how far the campaign has come: “Project Knead’s core aim was to upskill our teams and get hands back in the flour. We chose to focus on bread because, despite being a basic skill, it’s one that many chefs lose confidence in as they progress in their careers. The feedback has been overwhelming increase in their baking confidence and ability to overcome the challenges a loaf of bread might present”.
“As well as the brilliant engagement we’ve had with our suppliers and the fantastic success of our chefs and bakers, a big success story has also been the development of our trainers, who have grown in confidence to stand in front of an audience and showcase their skills. They are really the reason why this project has been so successful”.