Aberdeen charity, the Breadmaker, has announced its busiest year so far and is on line to becoming fully sustainable after just 3 years of trading as a social enterprise.
At its recent AGM the charity announced figures from its last financial year. These show that the Breadmaker has slowly moved from being 54% grant driven to only 7% in this financial year and is on line to being totally self sufficient in 2010. Turnover in the last financial year soared 74% from the previous year. Profits have reflected this increase, which has been mainly down to an increase in shop trade at its Rosemount location.
Chief Executive, Donald Anderson, commented on his busiest year to date: “it’s been a great year and we are very fortunate to have weathered the storm of the economic crisis. It’s been hard work, but we have a huge amount of support from the local community and businesses alike, which has helped us through and helped to boost our sales.”
As a charity and social enterprise, the Breadmaker operates in a business like-manner, running a bakery and café and providing wholesale supplies to other delis and cafes in the area. In addition to this, it provides volunteering opportunities and gives people with learning disabilities the opportunity to learn new skills and train for employment, which it helps them find. Many charities find the social enterprise model difficult to make viable and rely on grants and government subsidy in the early days. It is crucial for the enterprise to then generate its own funding to reduce grant dependency and replace grant funding in the longer term.
At the AGM, newly appointed chairman, Geoffrey Bell, spoke of his delight with the figures and what they meant for the charity and the apprentices that it employs with learning disabilities. He said: “it is great to see that the Breadmaker is online to becoming sustainable. It is very important for the longevity of the organisation and will mean that the charity can continue to support over 24 people with learning disabilities in Aberdeen. It is hoped that the business model can be emulated and used to diversify into new areas and expansion with existing ones.” He commended the staff and the 13 volunteers the charity has and thanked them for their continued support.
Showcased at the AGM was a short film on the journey of the Breadmaker, which had been put together by local company Tern T.V. The film will be available for sale in the bakery and used as a marketing tool to promote the charity and the work that it does.