Lancaster student entrepreneur launches 'wonky bread' business
A Lancaster University student has launched the UK’s first ‘wonky bread' subscription service in order to reduce food waste and ‘save the planet one box at a time’.
James Eid, 20, who is studying business management, has unveiled Earth & Wheat as his latest business venture, just nine months after setting up his own disposable face mask factory, Signature Masks, to fight against Covid-19..
Research shows 6.6m ton of household food waste was thrown away in 2018 - and almost three quarters (70 per cent) is food that could have been eaten (4.5m ton) according to charity WRAP.
James, who is originally from Hertfordshire, seeks to distribute fresh bread which would otherwise have been binned during the production process due to its appearance, size or overproduction.
He is a fourth-generation baker at family-owned business, Signature Flatbreads, which was set up by his grandfather Dr Samir Eid in 1984.
Using his platform at the established bakery, the student is able to fight food waste at the production source, before bread even reaches the shops.
He will start by rescuing and distributing the fresh Earth & Wheat ‘wonky bread’ from his own family's bakeries with the plan to actively partner with local independent bakeries around the UK as his customer base expands.
Customers who subscribe to Earth & Wheat on a weekly or bi-weekly basis will receive one of its £6.99 bread boxes, including delivery.
The 2.5kg box is considered enough for a week’s worth of bread for a family of three or four. It does not include basic 'sliced bread' but will instead contain an exciting, random and mixed variety of crumpets, sourdough crumpets, tortillas, wholemeal tortillas, butter-flavoured tortillas, pittas, wholemeal pitta, focaccia, scotch pancakes and buttermilk pancakes.
For every box ordered, James has pledged to donate the equivalent of a meal’s worth of bread – 450 grams – to food banks to help fight food poverty in the UK.
He said: “Food waste makes up a large proportion of greenhouse gas emissions and contributes significantly to the deterioration of our environment.
“Earth & Wheat’s vision is to ultimately reduce food waste by delivering perfectly fresh wonky bread and supporting local communities when times are tough. We believe no good food should go to waste!
“Our wonky breads may look unattractive, but it will probably taste fresher than the bread at the shops – this is because it is shipped directly from UK bakeries. Some of the breads are more suited for breakfast, lunch and dinner hence it will be eaten quicker. On the day of the box’s arrival, the fresh bread can be frozen for many months, to lock in freshness and help fight food waste.
“It’s a subscription model which is quick and easy to use via our website, earthandwheat.com. We want to target environmentally conscious people and families with children who want to help make a difference where they can and reduce food waste, and thus build a sustainable future for the next generation.
"Even our packaging is fully recyclable…it’s wonky bread without wonky practices.”
James started his Signature Masks manufacturing business after being inspired by his grandmother, Anna Ross, 68, who suffers with Behcet’s disease which lowers the immune system and potentially making her more vulnerable to serious illness from coronavirus.