The Thoughtful Bread Company, an “eco-bakery” located in South West England, has an old-school way of doing things. The business has very strong environmentally friendly initiatives and, according to one of its owners, Duncan Glendinning, the Company is England’s first fully sustainable bakery. He says it is part of a generation of ethical businesses that concentrate on sustainability, rather than solely on the bottom line.
Glendinning says that markers of success for The Thoughtful Bread Company are not money or turnover, but good feedback from customers. And apparently it’s pretty darn good because he nearly sells out of bread just after lunch.
Ingredients from The Thoughtful Bread Company are sourced within a 40-mile radius whenever possible and flavors vary depending on the season. The company also minimize machinery within their facility to help reduce day-to-day impact on the environment.
Aside from ingredients and techniques though, nearly all of the refuse in The Thoughtful Bread Company is recycled. While about 1,000 loaves are baked per week, this only generates one single bag of landfill waste, which mostly consists of plastics. All of the garbage, including compost, is tracked in a log, and leftover bread is donated to a local homeless shelter.
Glendinning started The Thoughtful Bread Company in 2008, which grew from his passion of fresh and local foods, paired with his eco-fundamentalist habits. As he began his research he realized how much a new kitchen would cost and started scavenging timber, piping, and other materials otherwise ending up in the landfill. Glendinning sourced kitchen equipment from restaurants and bakeries all over the country.
What is just as cool, or so we think, about Glendinning’s business is that he barters – definitely an old-school way of doing business. For instance, he barters for local ingredients to keep costs down and to support the local economy. Additionally, he barters with local companies for energy-saving products, which is exactly how he acquired his office computer, which uses 10% less energy than a standard computer.
With our future continuing to move towards supporting more sustainable businesses, Glendinning says that he’s trying to “future-proof” his business as well.