Art deal to make more dough in 2019

Published on 24 December 2018

Christmas wasn’t the only thing being celebrated when volunteers and supporters gathered at Companions Real Bread bakery on Mill Street.

Major Graham and three other band members from Bedford’s Salvation Army Corps roused the Christmas spirit with carols, before presenting a cheque for the splendid sum of £1,161, which had been collected for Companions at the Army’s two Carol Concerts a few weeks previously. The bakery offers work experience, training and other support to ex-offenders trying to resettle effectively into the community.

‘This feels like a ringing endorsement from the people of Bedford,’ said Maggie Rich of Companions as she accepted the donation,  "They must like what we’re trying to do here.”

Maggie went on to announce some exciting news.

Since moving into the Old Fire Station in Mill Street in January 2017, the bakers have known that they would have to move out for a period of at least three months when the council starts works to remodel and renovate the building.

A few weeks ago, Simon Gillett, invited Companions to move the bakery into his premises when the French bakery, Delices, ceases to operate from there at the end of this month. Companions will rent the fully-equipped bakery and the café in front will be renamed The Gallery and offer the bakery’s sourdough bread etc as well as a new menu of food and coffee.

Quote from Simon: “I have been in the hospitality industry in London for ten years managing national stores and when this opportunity arose I had no hesitation in involving myself in such an exciting new venture”

The Art Centre has occupied the premises at 7, Howard Street since 1996 and is delighted to welcome Companions and The Gallery to the site which will offer an exciting new destination.

The move is planned for the middle of January. "It’s all happened very quickly,’ said Maggie, "and we’re not sure yet quite how things will go. But we’ll keep the interruption to our customers as short as possible – we know how much they love our sourdough.”

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