The chocolate cherry almond cake is a flirtation of provocative proportions, while the salted caramel brownies, if given away and swallowed, would set you free from anyone’s bad books.
The products exhibited in Luminary Bakery in Stoke Newington, London, they scream sheer indulgence and delight, but the story behind them is anything but light.
The social enterprise was founded by Alice Williams in 2014, to help women who have experienced homelessness, sexual exploitation, domestic abuse or criminal activity, people who have a more difficult time finding work and reaching their potential.
Williams soon realized that employing them was not enough, so she devised a six-month training program that has already been completed by more than 50 women.
The pandemic proved challenging, but donations from some big brands allowed Luminary to continue providing trainees with what they needed to bake at home. The bakery also launched its letterbox brownies with delivery across the UK just before closing, and they proved to be a hit with British eager for indulgence.
The social enterprise also published its first cookbook, Rising Hope, in 2020. At the end of their training, all graduates create a recipe to celebrate, and some of them appear in the book. Its pages capture a community of women, united by difficulties, but also by joy and resistance.
Lead Image: Matt Scheffer