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Travel Stories and Guides by Table Magazine

A collection of travel stories and guides by Table Magazine and contributors from around the world.

Cafe Highlight | Luminary Bakery

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In a quiet residential street in Stoke Newington lies a truly hidden gem. Luminary Bakery.

The most amazing smell of cinnamon swirls fills the café - that wouldn’t look totally out of place in a Wes Anderson production. On the counter at the window, rows of salted caramel brownies, peanut butter cookies and what will forever be my highlight: the beautifully decorated sponge cake. 

These baked goods are not the only reason I would describe Luminary as an incredible place. 

Talking to Kaila, a member of the Luminary team, she explained to us a little more about the idea behind it.  “Luminary is an innovative response to a need we saw for women who have experienced social and economic disadvantage. We are a social enterprise bakery designed to offer opportunities for women to build a future for themselves”.

Founded in 2014, after meeting women in East London who were experiencing gender-based violence, poverty, homelessness and criminal activity. “Getting to know local women living through this helped Luminary's founding members to see that, although these women were facing complex issues, they were incredibly resilient and had so much potential”.

“Luminary recognises that the immediate needs have to be met - housing, safety & medication for example. Once a woman has a level of stability, she needs someone to give her new opportunities for a different future, and a possibility of changing her own life trajectory through earning financial security. This is where Luminary comes in.” Not only offering employment, but also training and upskilling.  The creative and therapeutic act of baking helps build self confidence, amongst developing other skills, such as determination, time keeping and precision.

This Autumn will see the opening of the second site for Luminary Bakery. Perfectly placed on Chalk Farm Road, Camden, it will open mid October. This additional space will be a cafe and bakery, as well as a brand new training centre. This means Luminary will be able to triple the number of women trained per year.

These really are some incredible women.

Words by Emma Cantlay
Photography supplied by Luminary