The design of this impressive and inspirational 11,000sq ft Bread Ahead flagship at Quintain’s Wembley Park site strives to achieve its sole mission of creating a community bakery by flipping the traditional rules of separating back and front of house in favour of blurred boundaries between baker and customer.
Bread Ahead is designed to celebrate the baking process from beginning to end and encourages repeat custom by adopting a truly multi-use strategy. The flagship is home to a fully operational 24hr wholesale bakery (supplying fresh produce daily to a range of local restaurants and delis and local residents that live and work in Wembley Park), a 200 cover cafe, restaurant, bar and bakery school.
Visiting Bread Ahead is an immersive and unique customer experience where customers are connected to the theatre of the wholesale bakery and their senses filled with the sights, sounds and smells of the artisan skill.
The architecture, interior design and adjacency planning of the space are all actively designed to create transparency and frame the baking action taking place in the wholesale bakery. A mix of low level walls, glass screens and high level seating place customers right next to a commercial baker’s workstation bringing the craft and action of baking directly into the customer dining experience. Customers are welcomed to interact with the passionate and friendly bakers, making the experience feel special and authentic.
Designers The Yard Creative carefully considered mix of zones within the flagship allows for pace, drama and intimacy throughout the customers’ experience; an indulgent takeaway counter service features a hero pizza oven, a mix of high and low-level bench tables provide a communal feeling for the all-day dining offer and cosy banquettes are available for intimate evening visits.
Seamlessly integrating the multiple offers across two levels was key to the success of the project. The bakery school, located on the first floor, plays the level difference to its strength by putting customers at the centre of the story with glass-fronted classrooms overlooking both the restaurant and bakery, this also helps to keep the connection to other parts of the experience.
The flagship store has a raw, clean urban quality to it, inspired by the simplicity of the basic materials used for baking. The raw textures, neutral tones and textured finishes applied throughout the interior bolster the artisan feel of the space which is actively not distracted by the use of large graphic communications.
Where possible baking equipment becomes part of the interior, leveraging the theatre and aromas of the process. The space is designed to be confident and bold but minimal allowing the craftsmanship and authenticity of the experience to shine.
Bread Ahead aims to dovetail into the seismic shift underway in city living due to changing lifestyles of Millennials and their altered view of third places and social spaces. The Wembley Park development by Quintain is designed to create a strong local community by providing local residents with spaces to meet, work and socialise.