Wild Goose Bakery was founded by Vernon and Kirstin, brought together by their love of food & their belief that food can open doors and create community.
Vernon was born in South Africa, but has been a Leytonstonian for his twelve years in London, he has had a glittering and diverse career as a chef. His experience ranges from a field kitchen where the passers by included lions and elephants, training to be a chocolatier with Valrhona in France and melt chocolate shop in Notting Hill, and then onto the heart of Mayfair in London.
Vernon was part of the team who won the prestigious ‘Best Afternoon Tea in England’ award while at Browns Hotel, and worked for several years for acclaimed chef Mark Hix. Vernon’s father instilled in him, a great sense of social responsibility, and his Grandmother was the source of inspiration for his passion for baking.
Scottish-born Kirstin has been part of Leytonstone for the past ten years and is excited to be putting down roots in the community, after welcoming their daughter Ruth during Christmas 2014 closely followed by the birth of another daughter Iona during Easter 2016 and then their Son Fergus during Christmas 2017.
Her career is similarly impressive, after graduating from one of London’s leading cookery schools, she worked in a number of establishments offering five-star food and beverages. Kirstin completed undergraduate studies in theology prior to becoming a chef, and is about to embark on further study in the world of nutrition.
Despite being surrounded by food & knives in their professional life both have experienced food poverty as well as knife crime, this is the driving force behind the couples decision to make the wild goose a social enterprise in order to offer more than just great hospitality to the community.
Our core values
5 core values learned from South African tribes
Generosity & kindness
The Zulu people are known for their practice & belief in Ubuntu, which simply means “humanness”. This is practiced on a daily basis by showing respect, generosity and kindness towards others.
We aim to create community through relationship, seeking ways to give back to our local community and pursuing environmental conscience.
Positivity & celebration of life
The Xhosa people hold on to the belief that a positive attitude should be adopted in every situation. They believe that life is an act of celebration with song and dance remaining a very important part of their community.
At the wild goose bakery we believe that a positive attitude, a desire to do our best & have fun is what sets us apart.
The Venda people believe strongly that skills and craft making must be shared and valued.
We aim to create a social impact by focusing on the skills each member of our team has to share as well as offering apprenticeships and classes.
Teamwork & entrepreneurship
The sotho people believe in teamwork, they have a complex way of organising their villages into properly assigned responsibilities. Due to this they have become the second largest ethnic group, and arguably the most self-sufficient tribe in South Africa.
At the Wild Goose Bakery we believe that all young people regardless of background should feel confident and supported to dream big and build a legitimate and financially independent future. We wish to show that with a “can do” attitude, teamwork & a drive to excel even in the little things that their dream can become a reality. We are building a sustainable business that will provide mentorship and employment to young people who are prepared to work hard and learn.
Artistic “self expression”
The ndebele people value artistic self expression in daily life.
Since the beginning we have involved the local artistic community by inviting artists to exhibit their artwork on our walls as well as leaving permanent murals.
Our desire is to create a culture of “self expression” and problem solving within our workforce by giving them freedom to input ideas and creativity as well as act with initiative.