Discover more from Flour Power: by Felicity Spector
On the road - part one!
The mobile bakery begins the first stage of its journey - even though it’s not quite fully mobile yet… with a few challenges along the way…
Thanks to Oleksander Baron for the photos!
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Getting a ten ton bakery-slash-trailer from Izmail to Odesa is no mean feat. It meant hiring a large flatbed lorry to transport the entire thing by road: but that proved to be the simple part. Getting it off at the other end - now that was a challenge. Fortunately I was nothing to do with any of the logistics.
The Bake for Ukraine team had arranged for the mobile bakery to be painted in smart olive green, with a Ukrainian tryzub shield and a slogan, which was finally agreed after some discussion: 'Bread is flour, water, salt, time and hope'. Two women from a very cool art collective who have already painted hundreds of donated vehicles in military camouflage had offered to do the work, at a location hidden away in a courtyard down a pretty - and narrow - side street in central Odesa. As the huge lorry carrying the bakery rumbled down the side street, it quickly became clear that getting it off, turning it around and then manouvring it through the gateway into the yard would require a steady nerve.
On the road to Odesa
A military truck turned up to tow the mobile bakery off the transporter. It turned out that the military truck was not designed to pull a ten ton trailer. The mobile bakery skidded and swayed, and almost toppled over into the street, eventually getting stuck under a bus stop. This was not what you'd call ideal, but at least it hadn't fallen over onto its side.
Meanwhile the road was blocked to traffic in both directions.
Eventually, reinforcements were called in: an heroic Ukrainian tractor was deployed, the kind of tractor which could pull a captured T-72 tank all the way from the front. This did the trick and the mobile bakery was eventually trundled through the gates and into the paint shop yard, ready for its new look.
The art collective at work
The ArtdiVision collective have come up with a cleverly designed camoflauge pattern for the military cars and trucks they paint, which they change up for summer and winter - raising the money for their materials over social media. They were so impressive to see in action: incredibly quick and efficient, sanding down the truck and getting it ready, clambering on the roof and squatting low by the wheels with the spray guns to make sure every surface was evenly covered with paint. The shield and the slogan went on the next day, yellow letters carefully placed, one by one. Maria and Lena even managed to lead another test bake on board, while a team from the LA Times took photos.
A home in the city
After many hours with a lawyer and city officials to sort out the neccessary permission, the trusty tractor was deployed once again to tow the mobile bakery to a prime spot outside a big aid distribution centre in the middle of town, where it can stay until the next stage of the journey - going out on the road. Then it will truly be able to fulfil its destiny, bringing fresh bread directly to the people who need it.