Meet: Baking Lab
an inspiring Bakkers Lab, run by young people with a social mission
We are an educational, interactive and circular bakery lab
Baking Lab began in Amsterdam in 2017 as an educational micro-bakery. Our aim was simple: to teach people how to make delicious bread the traditional way, infused with modern scientific knowledge. We envisioned an open bakery where everyone could witness and savor the bread-making process, encouraging curiosity and active participation. Our dream was to offer workshops, foster an inspiring environment for bread baking, and serve tasty food, prioritizing vegetarian, organic, and locally sourced ingredients. Additionally, we sought to harness the creativity of young minds to discover innovative ways of reducing food waste.
We are now running at full speed. We make bread, vegetarian and vegan lunches and pastries. We don’t throw leftovers away. We make new bread from old bread, we make pastry from old croissants, we make dishes based on fruit and vegetable fibers. Our workshops meet a clear need. Participants learn to make sourdough bread and to think more fundamentally about nutrition and health. Every year we welcome around one hundred thousand visitors from home and abroad. We often hear that they find our atmosphere and design special and inspiring. The creation of an inspiring working environment for young people is perhaps the most important thing we have achieved in recent years. Baking Lab is an open place where new ideas arise. Making mistakes is allowed, and mistakes are given the opportunity to be translated into new discoveries.
We have grown into a school for circular entrepreneurship
Our employees are mainly (university )students from all kinds of studies, such as neurobiology, future planet studies, artificial intelligence and food technology. In addition, trainees from nutrition courses at intermediate vocational and higher professional education level participate. Volunteers are also welcomed, often these are people who enjoy working with their hands. In addition to learning the craft of bread making, part of our team also learns to run a business. They learn to manage a circular bakery that promotes creative ideas to reduce food waste. Social entrepreneurship is meaningful, educational, but also a challenge. We help young colleagues who may soon want to do social entrepreneurship themselves to explore this challenge.
We share knowledge to prevent food waste
Bread is one of the most wasted foods in the world. We develop recipes that prevent wastage of stale bread. The Dutch Circulair Foundation selected our method as a best practice . Our knowledge is shared weekly with an international audience, during workshops and team building events . We now also participate in national (research) projects to promote nutrition and health. We also develop new recipes with which we reuse residual flows from the catering industry. For example, we use fibers from vegetables and fruit in our pastries and many other dishes.
We bring craftsmanship back to the city.
We promote the idea of our employees becoming creators. This not only enhances their personal growth but also boosts their self-esteem and cultivates their autonomy. We believe that success doesn’t always require a grand scale. Artisanal craftsmanship adds vibrancy to our neighborhood. Visitors are often pleasantly surprised by the welcoming atmosphere and design of our bakery, and they usually leave happier than when they first walked through our doors, the Parool newspaper reports. Home bakers come to our store to get their flour or sourdough starter.
We give employees meaningful work
What does Baking Lab mean to those who are part of it? Explore our interview series with individuals who have worked at Baking Lab.
We collaborate with other organizations
For instance, we have participated in initiatives organized by the City of Amsterdam, local schools, and have fostered collaborations with institutions such as the Tropenmuseum, Artis/Micropia, Stichting Jeugdland, the Weekend of Science, Dutch Bakery Center, the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy, and the organization dedicated to vocational education and business (SBB)..
Do you think your organization can also contribute to young circular entrepreneurs who want to start their own business? Please contact us. We’d love to talk further.
#Design thinking #Social innovation #complexity #placemaking #stadmakers