Luminary Bakery, London

November 18, 2017

Like with most cafes, Luminary Bakery serves food that tastes good, but unlike most cafes, this is a bakery and cafe that sets out to do good, too. 

Using baking as a tool, this philanthropic cafe offers opportunities for vulnerable women, providing them with a safe and professional environment where they can develop skills to help them in the world of employment, or entrepreneurship. Operating as a charity, the bakery offers training, workshops, employment, and the support of a community to empower women in need, helping them out of situations of abuse, prostitution, criminal activity, and poverty. 

Luminary Bakery’s philanthropic nature continues down to the decor itself, with most of the furnishings being sourced in the UK, keeping carbon emissions low. Even the wall paint was selected for its VOC-free, non-toxic, odourless and organic qualities. 

Design studio Nina+Co worked with London charity Kahaila Women’s Projects on the bakery’s interior, creating a bright, and welcoming interior designed to be a home from home. 

A modest budget has helped to inform the character of the space, with second hand furniture, donated items, and thrifty details, with nice touches such as vintage madeleine’s baking tins that have been adapted to make wall lights, and old jelly moulds repurposed to become small pendant lights. 

Iconic furniture manufacturer Ercol donated handmade, black lacquered loveseats and stacking chairs, while stone experts Diespeker & Co supplied counter tops cut from terrazzo, which incorporates waste products from marble industry that would have otherwise been discarded.

If you’re in Stoke Newington, drop by to support the good work Luminary Bakery are doing — it tastes pretty good.

Photographs by Anna Stathaki. Visit Luminary Bakery at 71-73 Allen Road, Stoke Newington, Hackney, N16 8RY.