S.O.S stands for Save Our Sourdough!
10 years ago, I started baking delicious Gluten Free Cakes and Sourdough Bread in my home kitchen. Between then and now, I have built my dream into something Marvellous. Wildcraft is more than just a Gluten Free Bakery and Cafe. It is a place where everyone is welcome. Whether it's my incredible team of Neurodivergent Bakers who get to work somewhere where it is actually easier to live a life unmasked than it is to pretend to be something they aren't. Or my amazingly supportive customers and community all over the UK who come to Wildcraft to buy food that they cannot get anywhere else. All of you have been there beside me every step of the way, and I ask that you stand with me for what may be the last time.
Today I finally realised that for the last six months, I have been unconsciously working to destroy Wildcraft. I know that sounds like an outrageous thing to say...so let me explain.
Over Christmas, my husband and I found out that someone we had trusted to care for our children, had betrayed our trust and had been emotionally and physically abusing them for months. During that time, they were taught to hate their neurodivergencies and were turned into shells of their former selves. I could see the changes in their behaviour, but I thought it was just because they were scared of starting school. The twins had just turned 4 and their big sister had just turned 8 when this all started. The who's, what's and how's of what happened to them are not my story to share. Even telling this much of what happened is something that I have really struggled with and it is important to me that I protect their privacy as much as I possibly can and maintain boundaries for them until they can do it for themselves. All I will say is that the person who hurt them will never be able to do so again and they are now safe.
But for the last 6 months since I found out about the abuse, I have been consumed with guilt so deep and so profound that my children and their healing was my sole focus. Because maybe if I can fix what my neglect broke, then I can atone for the mistakes I made when I didn't know any better. Through that time, I have been unable to do my work. I couldn't post on socials, I struggled to answer emails, I couldn't respond to messages on socials, I couldn't get new products on the website or keep things interesting to help boost sales and I trusted people I shouldn't have to lead my cafe and fill in my shoes. I kept trying to understand why I was making such illogical choices and failed over and over again. Until my husband came up to me when I got home from work this evening and explained that we did not have enough cash reserves left to make payroll and pay our bills at the end of this month. He has been trying to get this through to me for weeks now but I just couldn't hear him. Now, we have 20 days left to make enough money to keep us going until our Tax Credit Payment comes through from HMRC (which will hopefully be in 6 weeks time) or we will become insolvent. When he said those words to me, I felt a strange sense of relief, and that was when I finally understood why I had been making those illogical business choices.
Trauma is a strange thing and doesn't work in straight lines. I now understand that all this time, a Part of me blamed Wildcraft for what happened to my babies. If I had been present as a parent, if I had been there for them when they needed someone to talk to and someone to rescue them from the abuse....then maybe they would be OK now. But I wasn't there. Because I was at Wildcraft. And that part of me decided that the best way to protect my children and make sure that they would never be hurt like that ever again, was to burn Wildcraft to the ground. But that Part of me is wrong. The way to protect my children lies in Wildcraft! Because it is a place where I am loved, and supported and the only workplace I have ever, or will ever have where I can build a bright future for myself and so many others. The problem has never been Wildcraft. The problem has always been my inability to set and maintain the boundaries necessary for me to achieve the work:life balance that would have allowed me to be a present parent. I know that now!
So please help me and buy a ticket to WIldcraft's Save Our Sourdough Tea Party. IF we sell enough tickets, we will be able to save my dream. If we don't, we can have the party to end all parties and celebrate 10 years of being Extraordinary.
And if you don't live in Leeds but would like to support us, please order one of our S.O.S Afternoon Tea Boxes by post or place a regular order for delivery anywhere in the UK. Every little helps!
What to expect
A lovely selection of bread, cake, scones and pastries for you to enjoy with a lovely cup of tea. This will be posted to you on the date of your choosing.