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Manna from heaven

If you thought all that was missing from Cape Town was scrumptious, just baked rustic loaves and freshly roasted coffee delivered to your door by gorgeous women you can Call Off The Search!

True story.

When you open your door on a chilly lockdown morning and your friends have sent you a loaf of heavenly bread baked by Wendy that morning, and Claire has thrown in a little bag of her freshly roasted Bear Coffee beans, it is clear that you are a chosen one.

A surprise delivery of a chewy-crusted, bubbly-hearted rustic loaf, still warm from the oven, would warm the coldest of hearts any day of any year. As the autumn chill sets in on this weird and isolated time of lockdown it is nothing less than manna from heaven.

Wendy Alport, who normally earns her crust as a First Assistant Director in the film industry, started baking a few weeks ago, and gave a few loaves to friends. Those friends started sending them as gifts to their friends. Now she can’t make enough Loaves of Love to meet the demand from her friends and friends of her friends.

The best loaves in town

Everybody wants to share that feeling they had when they took delivery of their warm little bundle. It is a bargain at R50 per loaf of the most delicious artisanal stone-ground rustic bread, delivery included.   

Wendy Alport and her wife, Claire Hesom, started the lockdown like many of us privileged suburbanites, enjoying having lots of time together and at home, doing lots of yoga, Deepak Chopra’s 21-day meditation course, that sort of thing.

Then lockdown was extended and they started to dream about what they would really like to be doing.

Wendy had always wanted to learn to bake, and she set up a Skype call with a friend who had been baking for a couple of years and had a quick lockdown-style intro to baking.

The magic happened straight away. She had her aha moment – which is also aaaaaaaaaaaaaah and mmmmmmm – as soon she sunk her hands in to that first bowl of flour.

The first loaf was a bit of a disaster, though. She put too much liquid in too soon and her dough became a sticky mess. Oh well, said her friend over Skype, “keep going, next time will be better”.

And it was. Wendy is baking 30 or 40 loaves a day now and delivering them as warm little bundles of connection and deliciousness to people around Cape Town.

Delivering it is part of the fun, she says. People are so pleased by the gesture and there is a moment when they are “all smiles, cradling their loaf like a new baby”.

Claire, in the meantime, also has a new pot on the boil. She is roasting coffee and her deliciously creamy and nutty African blend will soon be available delivered with Loaves of Love.

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24th May 2020 1:11 pm

Warm, crusty sourdough bread with cold salted butter and strong cheddar. Perfect start to a morning. The kids prefer Bovril, the impious heathens, and the wife likes it with salad crunch, and together we sit around the table staring dreamily at the brown paper packaging…

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