Artisan baker Graham Penn got the slice of luck he kneaded when he met a man called Baker at a neighbourhood event.

“I ran my micro-bakery at home in Shooters Hill but was quickly running out of space,” said Graham. “but Tim Baker, headteacher at Charlton Manor primary school, offered me the school kitchen to use at night and I haven’t looked back.”

Graham bakes for his business – The Honest Loaf – from 8pm to 3am every weekday at the school famed for its healthy food ethos in Indus Road, Charlton.

“I was born into a baking family,” said Graham, 58. “My grandfather and father were bakers and I worked for the bakery when I was at school, during the summer holidays.

“I went on to work in newspapers but three years ago I got fed up reading stories about all the additives that go into bread, so I decided to make it from three very simple ingredients – organic wheat flour, salt and water.

“All the materials we use are organic. We use no additives at all and keep our salt levels down to less than one per cent, so it’s totally organic, good-for-you bread.

“We take flour and water, mix it together and let that feed on wild yeast in the air, very much like a yoghurt or something like that, so that it’s fermenting naturally.”

Charlton Manor is one of only two schools in London with a gold award for healthy eating.

“The Honest Loaf fits in perfectly with our healthy lifestyle, so we were delighted to help Graham,” said Mr Baker. “We sell the bread in our tuckshop and get a little rent, so it’s good for everyone.”

*The school is holding a one day practical food training conference on June 12 with workshops, presentations and guest speakers including Levi Roots and Chef Raymond Blanc. Food and refreshments will be provided, and there will also be a tour of the school, secret garden and teaching kitchen. To find out more contact Angie Coulstock on, call 020 8856 6525 or visit