In 2016 TDi began bespoke consultancy work with a Melbourne bakehouse with a difference, Able Bakehouse. Run by Melba Support Services, a service provider that helps Lilydale locals with disabilities, Able Bakehouse has turned into the organisation’s social enterprise venture. The Bakehouse was started to provide meaningful work and community engagement for people with complex disabilities.
After Able Bakehouse received a grant from the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation, TDi was asked to help the Bakehouse to become commercially and financially sustainable, so that their social mission could become a long-term reality.
We spoke to David Glazebrook, who runs the Able Bakehouse about what the enterprise is looking to achieve in its local area and how they’re going to get there.

“TDi made us think, question, and consider a wide range of options and opportunities”.

– David Glazebrook, Manager at Able Bakehouse

 

Why did you start the Able Bake House?
We started Able Bakehouse to provide meaningful work and community engagement for people with complex disabilities. While others thought they were unemployable, we didn’t and have proved that these wonderful people can contribute to their community 
What impact do you wish to have in your community through the Bake House?
We want to provide even more work and opportunities for people with disabilities. We have an outstanding and delicious product, well several actually, so if more people buy from us, more people are engaged, and more people see people living great lives and contributing.
What motivates you? 
What motivates me and the team at Melba is having people actively engaged in their community and the community embracing everyone, all skill levels and abilities.
How do you hope the Bake House will grow in 2017?
We want to establish our social enterprise hub at the Box Hill Institute campus so we can engage more people make more delicious quality biscuits, slice and jams and increase the numbers of people we sell to.
Why did you engage with TDi?
We received a grant from the Lord Mayors Charitable Foundation to assist with our work. In developing the grant we worked with TDi and the assistance and processes they ran with us it enabled us to see more clearly what we could do, how we could expand and stay true to our vision and mission. TDi made us think, question, and consider a wide range of options and opportunities.
What elements of your business has TDi worked on with you?
TDi has worked on all areas of business development and has provided the tools to allow us develop and plan more effectively.
What challenges do you face? Has TDi helped you to prepare for these obstacles?
Knowing our customers and why they buy from us, developing the social enterprise hub and a realistic growth and business plan. TDi has been ‘gold’!
What did you gain from working with TDi?
Knowledge, simple but comprehensive processes and systems, realistic ways forward, and throughout TDi has remained true to our vision and the people we support. They understand what we want to do, what is important and ensure that is maintained.
What would you say to a small business considering working with TDi?
Use them, you’d be silly not to! You’ll be better off because you did!

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