Currently kneading the Stirling bread world:
RosiBaker, director (2019 onwards)
When I arrived in Stirling to study Sociology and Film in 2014, one of the first things I realised I needed to figure out is how to source good bread. Having grown up in Vienna, Austria, with bread as a real staple in my diet, I was used to a wide variety of wholesome sourdough loaves to be available to me at all times. I arrived at a good time – Théo, Nils and Tom were already head to toe in the dough, and Riverside Bakery was in the making. I quickly became one of the bakery’s keenest supporters, firstly simply out of a personal need for bread, but gradually I realised that this was about something bigger, and my eyes were opened to a whole range of issues that were more to do with politics than simply with eating. Realising that this was a project I wanted to put my time and energy into, I started volunteering both as a bicycle delivery person and a baker. I gained a real sense of purpose from my involvement with the bakery, and doing something with my hands was extremely rewarding and something I didn’t get to experience very much as a university student. At the time it was mainly Théo doing the baking, and as I became more confident I started replacing him for entire shifts and so the apprentice volunteer became and employee. Then, early 2020, Théo and Ahley decided to leave Stirling and I excitedly agreed to take on the bakery with the commitment to keep Théo’s, Nils’, Tom’s and Ashley’s dream going with the same ethos an
NicolaBaker (2020 onwards)
I’m an Italian fella obsessed with good food and good bread. I grew up in a small town in the Alps, where growing your own food and baking your own bread was the norm – fresh, delicious, homemade bread was always available at home and I’ve been kneading since I was tall enough to reach the counter standing on a chair. Although I had been baking for a long time, it was not until I came to Scotland in 2017 that I dared to explore the world of sourdough baking, an art that had always been surrounded by a veil of mystery for me, but also one I quickly embraced as soon as I received some 3-generations old sourdough starter from a sourdough baking workshop at the Green and Blue Space. When I first started experimenting with sourdough it was all about the new texture and flavour of the bread and the technicalities involved with sourdough baking but soon after that I realised that there was more to it. I realised that just like growing our own food back home, sourdough baking and supporting local farmers and mills was an act of rebellion and a step in the right direction for a more sustainable future. So I started sharing my sourdough starter and bread knowledge with all my friends and family, watched how it brought people together and how their enthusiasm spread across communities. Some of it travelled all the way to Bogotá, Colombia. Just before Théo left, I started volunteering as a baker at Riverside Bakery, where I really boosted my baking skills and met with wonderful people. After a few months of being a keen volunteer and apprentice, I took on the role of Menstrual Man and officially became an employee in September 2020.
ThéoBaker, director, co-founder 2014-2020 Baking up a storm in Lyon, France
I have been making bread since I arrived in Stirling as a student in 2011. Starting to make
my own sourdough bread has been a true eye opener to the whole topic of food systems and sustainability. Along this path, I have met fantastic people and discovered
fascinating projects like Bread Matters, Scotland the Bread and more.
A milestone in my development as a community supported baker was taking part in the 2014 ‘Baking for Community’ course at Bread Matters. These 4 days opened up new horizons and truly decided me to work towards a community-supported bakery project. Since then I ran Bread workshops, baked for community events, and started the Riverside Bakery Project with Nils and Tom.
Bread making, in addition to being a great tangible and practical skill, has got this incredible power to bring people together, it is also an opportunity to offer something different to the those around you, it is simple in its making, easy to give, and yet has such complex implications!
The whole bakery project has been a great adventure and I’m excited to see it continue