When we started in 2017, we were often asked what the concept of Baking Lab exactly was and what the revenue model was going to be. At that time we had no exact clue. For some, that was confusing; others found it exciting. The one thing that was certain was that we were going create enough space to explore alternative social business models and link artisan bread making methods to science. Amsterdam is surrounded by many universities and colleges and we believe the knowledge stored there can also be unfolded in an unconventional way. In retrospect, we might also had the feeling we are emerging from a time when our society makes fewer and fewer mistakes, but moves in the wrong direction, whereas we ought to allow ourselves to promote unconventional ideas, make more mistakes now, but in a different, hopefully beter direction. Baking Lab offers space to explore and translate such “mistakes” into insights that help us move in a new direction. As a result, young people who work in our LAB are able to earn income as well as contribute their creativity, expertise, and energy to address society’s current challenges. Besides bread, we now produce numerous other products. For many we are an example of how food waste can be prevented in a creative and this is marked by mentioning our procedures as a best practice by the dutch organisation Nederland Circulair. Our story is regularly picked up by the media. We are now involved in various projects about nutrition, society, and health and we try to think about how new circular and social business models may be separated from the notion, perhaps the illusion, that their success must always go hand in hand with large scale. Read more about the results we achieved below.
Our mission in a nutshell
- Research bread
- Explore and learn more about our food systems and provide a meaningful workspace for young people.
- Promote initiatives to reduce food waste, strengthen circular and healthy food concepts.
- Use the ancient narrative of bread making and fermentation to promote informal science education
- Hundreds of people have attended our workshops and some have been been inspired to think more fundamentally about food.
- Our bakery serves the community, supports more social engagement and provides the ingredients for many home bakers in the area.
- Using common sense principles we demonstrate circulair & prevention of food waste concepts
- We provide a meaningful social workplace for young people and students
- We have coached, motivated and helped volunteers and interns to get back on track or navigate into the future.
- We are involved in projects about nutrition and society which support science education in an original, informal way.
- Our circulair bakery reuses old bread to improve the next batch of breads. This method was selected as a best practice by the Dutch Platform for Circular Economy.
Connecting the dots
Technology’s rapid development sometimes causes us to forget that food waste, circularity, health and the art of living share a common place.
Source Baking Lab Amsterdam
Food systems have the potential to nurture human health and support environmental sustainability; however, they are currently threatening both.
Bron: EAT–Lancet Commission
- Three Loaves – Three Sounds
- Zeven vragen: Hannie van den Bergh
- Brood is een taal die iedereen kent
- Micropia Artis Researching a Sourdough Fairy Tale
- ROEF festival: Fire (Bread) & Civilization
- The Dutch science weekend (kennislink)
- “To me, waste is a term for lack of creativity.” Folia (University of Amsterdam),
- De brood laborant (Trouw newspaper)
- Article about sugar and our brain
- Fire (Bread) & Civilization, informal education on a rooftop in Amsterdam.
- A Sourdough Fairy Tale (Micropia)
- Baking Lab in the news
Sharing our sourdough starter
We shared our sourdough with the community since the start of our bakery and during the corona pandemic many more people came over to collect the natural leaving culture to bake at home. Recipients of our sourdough are now requested to share their location so we can visualise its distribution.