The expectation of our time versus what I can do.
In a time of such indistinguishable politics it’s difficult to navigate who you are, what you stand for and what you need as corruption, fear and money complicate the very structure of what it means to be a socialist over a capitalist and vice versa.
The clash of one political structure over another is right now ruining society and our planet.
What is influencing you? Compassionate Capitalism? Democratic Socialism? Interpretation of how our countries are being governed is leading to fatigue with smaller community change.
Capitalists make to oversupply based on hedging their bets on “the marketing working” to raise demand.
The law of supply and demand has been coked off its face for years now. Adding unnecessary elements to a pure product to create more of it, ensuring the supplier gets more “bang for their buck” has become blindly accepted.
For the socialist, satisfying needs under general consensus can take more time. Speed is often necessary in satisfying the need of a people and so I believe a socialist society is dependent on solid, honest leadership with a culture of entrepreneurship (also).
(For clarity's sake, capitalism is about sale and profit whereas socialism is governed by need)
A couple of years ago I was creating a granola recipe for retail. The production facility I was working with kept trying to push coconut flakes as an ingredient to bring down the cost price. Coconut flakes would have no life changing effect on the customer’s IBS symptoms thereby invalidating my company’s promise that we only make ‘functional gut food’. In the end, that granola never saw the light of day. It was impossible to satisfy the needs of my customers through this production facility. A clash in their capitalist structure over my socialism.
Socialism : Production to satisfy human needs, not as under capitalism for sale and profit. A political and economic theory of social organisation which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.
Taking the definition above imagine a socialist society today.
People have a need for better, organic food and the time to prepare it. Collectively as a community we need to figure out a way to make this a reality. I might argue that instead of pouring money and development into producing protein products (destroying colons across the world) we pour that money into re-engineering some farms here in the UK so that they could handle the production of a greater variety of potatoes, green vegetables and fruit all grown organically to satisfy the needs of their communities guts’. I might then argue that it was important for those communities to leave work at a time which allowed them to prepare the food which has been scientifically proven to be better for them and their families. On top of which I would want them to have good pots and pans to prepare the food judiciously with a happy place to dine in afterwards.
The biggest aggressors to people not being able to satisfy their guts needs are -
- Access to the ingredients (this includes money).
- Less mentioned are the utensils needed and a space in which to enjoy one’s food but they do get mentioned and they are a massive part in completing the circle.
Small businesses are necessary for community, positive change, our spirit for God’s sake as they are now largely started by people with an unsatisfied need. They only survive however if capitalist behaviour doesn’t fuck with expectation.
Today when a company advertises something you don’t need it does so persistently, aggressively but in a ‘nice as pie, I’m your friend’ sort of way. The quick response rate, the quick distribution rate, the quick refund policy all work to set your exceptions high and offer them a competitive advantage over the competition. In some cases that makes people nasty and is now the reason for some delivery companies asking you to be courteous to their operators on the phone before you are transferred through.
Satisfying all peoples needs in a capitalist society has been exceedingly difficult.
I was operating without profit. This meant I couldn’t afford the marketing story that was needed to convey why -
- The product cost what it cost.
- The product was so good for you.
I couldn’t respond to customers to take a last minute delivery change because number one I was elbow deep in dough and number 2 because bike routes had to be mapped out a few hours beforehand to keep London Bike Delivery at £3.
The technology and back-end stuff I used often failed my business as customers could cancel their order after their dough had begun fermentation thereby invalidating the model to create no waste. (Of course these doughs never went to waste as I got good at predicting what was going to happen from week to week but it meant that week was loss making.)
As I couldn't afford a massive website build I built the website from scratch myself. This meant I needed to use plug-in apps to handle things like delivery postcodes and pricing. Sometimes these apps were bad at speaking with one another and charged too little for delivery. I had to suck up that cost.
Because I didn't take on investment a lack of cashflow prevented me from helping so many of you. Not taking investment has meant I have never taken a monthly salary since registering the company back in 2014. The company was anti-capitalist so investment never made sense in the end. I wouldn't have been able to pay it back without selling the company. I did not want to sell out. I used every penny of divorce money to keep suppliers and team members paid when cashflow didn't exist. Without my divorce money I would have had to sell-out or stop.
Creating something of value where the real life-long benefits will truly be seen in 50 years time when you’re living a better life than your friend who survived on protein shakes and bounce balls isn’t taken into the account of most peoples buying behaviour mentality. Capitalism has been breeding instant gratification for too long. I did not have enough hours in the day or enough energy to educate people around why spending £20 with us a week was in a lot of cases money better spent than the 5 x £20 fitness classes a lot of the same clientele were spending a week.
I am not a robot. The only button that was ever pressed in the whole bread making process was the one to turn the oven on and off. The hours are unforgiving and sweaty. Eventually they burnt me out. Not taking a salary for 4 years, putting every penny I owned into the business in some shape or form and then on top of that being asked for freebies, discounts and refunds was fuelling everyone and everything else bar the woman who had built upon her mission to create longer and healthier lives.
As an anti-capitalist, finding myself running a business has been hilarious at times. I’ve always described myself and the business as being mission led due to my struggles with capitalism and how best to describe the idealisms I was using in the pursuit of positive change.
Changing times call for the evolution of political structures.
Work faster with proven research that will mean a healthier population. Work with organic food makers and suppliers helping to tell their story so that more communities can buy from them.
Back people and companies concerned with longterm change for the better of our collective mental health and gut health thereby driving a happier community.
Example : Back a farm becoming organically certified who’s focused on farming old varieties of wheat and potatoes for distribution throughout the UK.
Act on and with your knowledge. No one is responsible for your health and wellbeing as much as you are. Put the effort that is needed into your food buying and food preparation so that your immune system, nervous system and digestive system stay robust.
In the New Year I’m going to start doing group baking classes to show people with IBS how to prepare the right foods for their gut health. I will continue seeing people with IBS for just one session that will empower them to change their life forever and I shall continue public speaking on the topic. There are a few projects I don’t want to talk about at this stage but exciting changes are coming.
At this point I’m sure it’s obvious what I’m about to say. The bakery will not be reopening in January. At some point I know I will be working with product again but for the foreseeable future I will be doing everything I can to work with individuals and small groups to instigate change for better gut health, better mental health and a happier more fulfilling life.
The messages I’ve received from those of you whose lives I’ve changed over the years has been the fuel I’ve needed to now re-engineer how I continue on with my mission in 2019.
I am more than devoted to helping people. I am probably the most uncommercial entrepreneur I’ve ever met. I’m significantly proud of how hard I’ve worked since childhood to make Gut Health and in particular, IBS a huge topic of modern discussion.
I am massively grateful for all the team members who came on this journey with me at different points throughout the past 7-8 years and in particular to my ex-husband as without my divorce money I couldn’t have come this far without sacrificing on the brand’s promise.
When I started the IBS conversation many years ago no one wanted to ferment their own bread for 72 hours and then bake it. I was asked to start The Happy Bread Co. by an audience of 200 people and so I did. My mission to rid those 200 people of their IBS symptoms catapulted me into a commercial world I had major social problems with and ended making me political.
“Are you the campaigner for fibre?” I once got asked at a talk in Chiswick, West London.
I think Kellogg’s cereals have been more the campaigners for fibre than I have but through my years doing what I’ve been doing never foregoing on my promise I have become comfortable in a campaigner’s role. Through age I relate more now than I ever did to my grand-uncle Domhnall Ua Buachalla who served as reluctant Governor-General of the Irish Free State before becoming a member of The First Dáil, Dáil Éireann, the first meeting of the revolutionary Irish Republic. My gran-uncle Joe described him as “at home…the quietest man alive, but in politics he was adamant”. Those who've lived with me shall share the same opinion of me.
For now though, I beg you all to start baking and fermenting again. If I can make hundreds of loaves of bread a day out of my small kitchen in East London you can make one a week.
I’m not going anywhere, if anything you’ll be hearing more from me over the next 12 months and I will be working to engage with as many of you as I can in a more meaningful and lasting way. It is time to revolutionise how we go forward.
To the people making shit products that are doing nothing positive for the state of our guts and minds please consider your position. To the un-compassionate capitalists putting their need for more over someone else’s need for just enough of the right thing please consider sharing and nurturing. To the people who have played a massive role in corrupting how a boy or a girl sees themselves in the mirror I hope your own mirror reflects onto you what needs to be rectified.
We are all flawed. We all make mistakes. But if we wake up the next day and take responsibility for yesterday it is easy to forgive and work towards building healthier, fulfilling lives in which equality becomes a reality. Share what you have. I know it makes a difference.
Big love as always,
Your Baker Girl,