Alma sees the high-end greengrocer teaming up with James Beard finalist Graison Gill who was behind the award-winning Bellegarde Bakery in New Orleans. Together they have a mission that they state is all about reinstating “the integrity of wheat by freshly milling on site and baking flavour-first, whole-grain loaves at a scale that will have a palpable impact.”

To that end, they’ll be working with wheat growers across Europe who are at the forefront of building grain resilience, ecosystem biodiversity and complexity into the wheat they grow. To begin with those will be John Letts in Oxford, Gilchesters in Northumberland, Moulins Bourgeois which is just outside Paris and Bidi in Western Sicily.

Alma aims to make bread using flour that’s been stone-milled in batches just days before. From opening day there will be five loaves on sale – Seeded Sourdough, Country Loaf, Ciabatta and Baguette, with Couronnes and Brioche in development. You’ll be able to buy these direct from the bakery in Bermondsey or via the Natoora app and you’ll probably also find the bread in various London restaurants as there are plans to bring in guest chefs for collaboration.

The bakery’s London opening entailed Graison selling his New Orleans bakery to a cooperative of his own bakers so he could make the move to the UK for what he described as a “fairy-tale opportunity”.


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