The Bearwood bakers earning their daily bread and the admiration of the community

A micro bakery set up in Smethwick with women who are refugees is selling out every week.

The team were taught by an experienced baker over zoom during lockdown and now bake a variety of loaves twice a week.

The team are extremely proud of their bread which sells out every week Credit: Zana Lamallari

Much of their equipment and ingredients have been donated to the Bearwood Community Hub, a social enterprise, where their kitchen is based.

The group of women from Iraq, Sudan, Albania, Nigeria and Lebanon - all now settled in Smethwick - come together twice a week as the Bearwood Community bakery while their children are at school or looked after by the creche on site

One of the team Ekhlass Ibraheem said:"When they say this bread is better than the shops you feel like wow!"

Assma Mohamed said being part of the bakery has changed everything for her.

"I came here to the UK and I didn't have friends. Now I have friends. When my daughter says she is sick and can't go to school I'm sad because I can't come here."

There's lots of laughter many friendships are forged in the kitchen Credit: ITV Central

On a bakery day they usually aim to make 30 loaves under the watchful eye of Albert Smith, a former nurse turned baker who says he enjoys sharing his knowledge and seeing the ladies grow in confidence.

"We're all learning and feeding off each other. My dream is 100 loaves a day six days a week so we earn enough money so we can all be paid."

Sozan Hossain who's originally from Iraq says being part of the bakery has helped her meet lots of different people.

"I'm Kurdish, I'm from Iraq so my friends are Arabic or Kurdish but here there are all cultures. This project is small now, it's like a baby but we want to grow it in the future. It's making me proud of myself and my community."

The loaves are sold out every week and a cafe recently placed a regular order.

The team bake around 30 loaves a day Credit: ITV Central

Zana Lamallari from Albania says she enjoys being part of the team as she loves baking.

"I like to make bread here because in my country I make traditional bread every day."

All the loaves are usually out of the oven by lunchtime and once a week, the ladies hold a bring and share community lunch at the Hub where the fresh loaves never last very long. 

Sally Taylor, director of the Bearwood Community Hub said: "The bakery really is at the heart of our Hub. Bread unites our new and established community members, whether they're baking together, eating together or when customers ask for baking tips from the women in the bakery team.

"We're all beginning to call the Hub home and invite people from across our community to come and grab a cuppa with us anytime."

The dream is to make the bakery which opened in the Summer, a permanent thing - just like the friendships forged in the kitchen