Our Story So Far!
by Brickyards Master Baker Ed
So what is Brickyard Academy and how does it work?
Brickyard Academy is a local business bringing people together to make locally sourced, fresh, healthy food accessible to ALL.
The Academy is a CIC (Community Interest Company) and as such operates as a social enterprize. The intention is to become self sufficent through the following range of initiatives, including;
Brickyard Artisan Bakery Shop
Here at the bakery, we will sell 'real' bread and 'honestly' baked produce. All created by hand in house using where possible, local produce and suppliers with an emphasis on organic, and fairly traded produce. The bakery ethos will inlude a strong presence of cakes, treats, and feel good foods which will be available from the shop at affordable prices.
Brickyard Training Academy
The academy is very much about training and employability services providing craft tuition in both a 'commercial' and 'domestic' purpose made training environment. The emphasis will be placed on the bread making and baking modules that are now underserved as a result of the closure of specialist baking departments in Further Education establishments nationally.
Brickyard Bakery School
Courses for all ages and competency levels of 'home' bakers are on offer here. These courses will be educational and practical, whilst maintaining a strong emphasis on fun and the social pleasures of food.
Brickyard Social Food
Working with local agencies, charities and schools addressing food povety by equalising food povety and activities related to it. Regular 'Real Food Classes' will be held for those people identified and referred by local agencies, helping them learn about different food choies available and how to cook good wholesome foods on a tight budget.
About our Master Baker Ed:
Having left school at 16 with just one O’level in metalwork Ed left the region and went to London. It was there he worked in a number of five star London hotels, restaurants and casinos, including the Inn on the Park, Park lane where he looked after Tom Jones and The Ritz Club where he trained under top chef John King and worked with the Gold Medal winning team for Best Regional Team in the World at the 1988 Culinary Olympics.
Ed then then worked in a number of country houses before spending time as an Army chef at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, where he cooked for the Queen and many other member of the Royal Family.
Ed moved back to the North East to take up a teaching position at a catering college in Hull and then opened and ran a group of fine dining restaurants along the A1 corridor. Ed describes the next phase of his career as a bit of a mid-life crisis as he realised running the businesses had stopped being fun! With this realisation Ed sold his share in the restaurants and went to study for a degree in Sociology and Criminology at Teesside University.
He started baking again as a hobby while he was studying. He said: “Making bread helped me re-discover my passion for producing good food and my degree made me more interested in social enterprises and the affordability of food, so I started making my bread and taking it to farmers markets throughout Teesside.
“It was exciting talking to my customers. I want to share with people the fantastic alchemy of real bread making. Bread is one of the oldest most basic foods there is. It wasn’t necessary to add chemicals to bread for centuries and it still isn’t".
It is Ed’s three big passions in life, good food, social equality and the empowerment of education that has been the motivation behind setting up Brickyard Academy.