More About Us

Why a community bakery
What we want to do
The Story so Far
About Dunbar Community Bakery
Our Supporters
The Management Committee

Legal Stuff: Dunbar Community Bakery Ltd

Dunbar Community Bakery Limited (2714RS) is an Industrial and Provident Society and therefore a ‘mutual’ registered with the Financial Conduct Authority.

Registered Address:

60 High Street
EH42 1JH

Registered On: 05 Jun 2009

Reporting requirements for IPS are very similar to a limited company and our accounts are lodged with the FCA, where copies can be obtained.

Why a community bakery

To produce wholesome and tasty real bread!

Dunbar Community Bakery Limited is a community co-operative that is wholly owned by its members and is accountable to them.

It was registered as an Industrial and Provident Society, Register No 2714RS on June 4th 2009.

By investing as a shareholder you will become a member of the co-operative. All shareholders have just one vote, no matter how much money they contribute.

You will be helping to build a positive future for our community, supporting a regenerated High Street and the local production of wholesome and nutritious food.

However, the commercial success of the bakery is not guaranteed. We shall use your money responsibly, but it is possible that you may lose all or part of your investment. Please only contribute as much as you can afford to lose!

What we want to do

We want to run a community-owned bakery on the High Street of Dunbar producing high quality wholesome and tasty real bread and related products baked on the premises

We believe that a supply of good quality locally baked real bread is fundamental to our future as a sustainable community

We believe that the community bakery will help breathe new life into the town centre and make it more attractive to local shoppers and visitors from further afield

We want to create a new source of employment, with the aim of eventually providing training opportunities

We will promote healthy eating and an improvement in the local diet in conjunction with other local initiatives

Eventually we want to be able to source locally grown and milled wheat/flour

The Story so Far

In the summer of 2008, on hearing that the long-standing Smith’s family bakery was going to close due to retirement, a group of people came together to plan how we could ensure that we continued to have a bakery baking and selling bread on Dunbar High Street.

Sustaining Dunbar, our local community development trust, funded market research to investigate the demand for fresh bread in the town. It showed there was still strong demand for a bakery selling high quality bread and cakes made on the premises. Sustaining Dunbar applied for a grant to undertake a feasibility study and prepare a three-year business plan for reopening the former Smith’s Bakery as a sustainable community-run enterprise.

In June 2009, Dunbar Community Bakery Limited was officially registered as a  co-operative. In early July a community share issue was launched and by the end of August 160 people had bought shares, contributing £17,600 in equity investment.  A Management Committee was appointed from the membership in late August to take forward the setting up and running of the bakery. It included local entrepreneurs and experts in finance, small business, communications, marketing and community development.

It eventually didn’t prove possible to agree a satisfactory long lease, or purchase, of the Smith’s premises and the committee sought alternative premises.

In Autumn 2010, the Community Bakery eventually signed a lease on 60 High St., the former Knox’s newsagent. Chalmers and Co. from Haddington were appointed to provide architectural services and a planning application for conversion to a bakery was lodged. By the time all the necessary permissions, including Listed Building Consent, were in place and further finance had been raised, it was the Summer of 2011 before building work was able to commence.

Shareholders numbered over 300 people who had invested more than £40,000.

The conversion work and fit-out was completed on time and the initial staff complement recruited and the bakery opened for business on Thursday 6th October 2011.

As of summer 2012 the bakery has a stable staff complement, focusing on artisan and traditional breads, patisserie and savouries. Plans for limited wholesale of certain product lines are in development and there is finally space and time to explore further product development.

During 2013 we ran our first bread and patisserie courses, made some stunning celebration cakes, picked up a couple of awards including a UK Cake of the Year Award and, with incredible help from volunteers went to all 3 summer markets in Haddington – a real success and good for the town.

Since then we’ve refurbed the interior, making the work space flow better (if anyone is thinking about developing a community bakery, make sure you hire the baker first to help plan such things – they are really important), invested in a new coffee machine that actually works, introduced breakfast ranges and have been invited to join Haddington Farmer’s Market, as well as attending numerous street markets and fairs.

We are working with the owners and occupiers of 56-60 High Street to restore the beautiful facade of this A listed early Georgian tenement.

Little goes to waste, with a great relationship with Dunbar Parish Church, who takes our nutritious product to those in need.

Since the new facade was repainted and repainted a great many operational changes have occurred, and we’ve lost some of our very excellent bakers too, who are now competing with us, such is the free market.

We constantly need to adapt and review as we are not immune to staffing changes (people leave us for greater and better things) and we are not immune to the vagaries of High Street trading conditions.

How do we do this? Through the continuing and generous support of our co-op members, the kind assistance of volunteers and many others who work quietly behind the scenes.

The number of shareholders now exceeds 800.

The best way to support us is to buy all your daily bread from us.

Support Us: Buying a Share

About Dunbar Community Bakery

Dunbar Community Bakery was founded as an Industrial and Provident Society (a type of co-operative formed for the benefit of the community) in June 2009 to enable the community to set up and run this business. This legal structure makes it easy for local people to invest in the business to give it the working capital it requires to become established.

All shareholders in the business have an equal say (however many shares you own you have one vote) in the running of the business and can put themselves forward to be on the Management Committee.

If you would like to help us raise further capital by purchasing shares in the cooperative, this will help us greatly. We will be able to invest in new capital items and continue to develop the business. Please click:

Buy / Give a Share

This will enable you to make a secure payment to the Dunbar Cooperative Bakery via the PayPal e-payments system using a credit or debit card.

You can invest up to £100 online by selecting the appropriate investment option. But please note that however much you do invest, all shareholders in the co-operative only have one vote.

If you wish to invest more than £100 in shares please download and print out the invitation-to-invest form and send us a cheque by post or pick up a form in the shop.

Once your e-payment has been processed by PayPal, we will send you an e-mail to confirm receipt. A share certificate will be sent to your postal address in due course.

You will also receive shareholder updates from the Management Committee by e-mail when they are issued.

Will you get your money back?

We believe the bakery will be trading profitably within three years. Shareholders will then be offered an opportunity to withdraw capital. However, any cash withdrawals will be at the discretion of the Management Committee at the time.

Please regard your financial contribution to Dunbar Community Bakery as a social investment. Shareholders should not expect to make a financial gain, as they might do by purchasing shares on the stock market. If the bakery fails to become profitable, investors may lose all or part of their money.

We do not expect to distribute profits to shareholders in the form of dividends. All profits will be reinvested in the bakery and charitable activities that benefit the local community.

However, we still offer shareholders a 10% discount on purchases made at the bakery.

Our Supporters

Click here to view letters of support from the following individuals and organizations:

Iain Gray MSP for East Lothian and Scottish Labour Leader,

Dunbar Community Council,

Dunbar Trades Association,

Sustaining Dunbar,

Cllr. Jacquie Bell,

Cllr. Norman Hampshire,

Cllr. Paul McLennan,

Hilary Cochran of Knowes Farm Shop,

Belhaven Group Managing Director,

Station Director, Torness Power Station, EDF,

Jim Findlay, The Rocks,

Logan Thorburn, The Creel Restaurant,

Management Committee


We are a co-operative. The Management Committee is elected from the membership at the AGM. The Committee then elect the honorary positions. The Management Committee in 2019 comprises:

  • Isobel Knox joined the committee in 2018, but has been an enthusiastic supporter of the bakery since the very beginning.
    She has experience in the Catering Industry, having run her own cafe in Edinburgh, and previously as a cook and as catering manager in a variety of places.
    Isobel has for many years worked with teenagers at Dunbar Grammar School, and currently at ‘The Ridge’ Backlands garden project, encouraging young people to ‘grow their own’ – to plant seeds of self sufficiency.
    She passionately believes in sustainable living, avoiding supermarkets – cutting down food miles, shopping local on Dunbar High Street, and is also involved the Crunchy Carrot Community buy-out group, working to maintain local availability of produce sourced from local growers.
  • Jacquie Bell rejoined the Management Committee in 2017 following retirement as a hospital social worker in Edinburgh. Jacquie lives with her husband in Belhaven. Jacquie is active in many community groups including Dunbar Community Council, Dunbar and East Linton Local Area Partnership and Sustaining Dunbar. She represents the Bakery at Dunbar Trades Association meetings.
  • Alan Nicholson joined the Management Committee in 2017 having moved to Dunbar in 2016. He is a supporter of shopping local, the Slow Food movement and independent producers. He has worked at the Scottish Government for the past 27 years working in social and justice policy development.
  • Jo Mcnamara
  • Chrisann Morrison 

We are always looking for fresh talent.  Anyone who has started up or run their own small business will know that it is no small challenge to keep things on track.  With over 850 members and multiple stakeholders to keep happy, the job is harder still.

But if you have boundless energy and enthusiasm, practical business skills, and a little bit of time, we’d like to hear from you.

The committee wish to acknowledge the input from all past committee members, yes  there have been a few, who have given their time and expertise extremely generously.