Beirut environmental bakery promotes healthy food, cycling

by The Region   Reuters  


The sight of the freshly baked mouth-watering bread in a Beirut bakery may be familiar but this is no ordinary bakery, as it aspires to offer healthier bread while, at the same time, looking out for the environment.

Tusk Bakery is one of only few bakeries in the country that offers sourdough bread, the owner Matt Saunders said.

It depends on locally grown products purchased from farmers around Lebanon whenever possible, he added.

But what's unique about Sander's store is the delivery. Out of environment awareness, Tusk delivers the products to clients on bikes.

"The delivery on bicycle is part of the environmental image and working in a sustainable way. Just like the national, local products and ingredients, delivering on bicycle reduces our impact on the environment," Saunders said.

According to Saunders, Tusk Bakery offers a variety of 15 types of bread, baking between 50 and 100 loaves daily.

The bakery also makes croissants, cakes, biscuits, sandwiches and even offers salads.

For Saunders, managing the bakery is a lot of work including bringing wheat from Lebanon's Bekaa region and dairy and potatoes from South Lebanon. What he enjoys the most though, is the baking itself.

"Unfortunately, I don't spend all my time with the bread - but when I knead or bake, I relax, because I know what I am doing and I don't think anymore, it is all feelings," Saunders said.

Saunders, 30, moved from his hometown in England to Lebanon in 2013 and started a delivery-on-bike startup in Beirut.

After two years, he professionally switched to baking, a hobby he has been practising since college.

In December 2017, he opened the Tusk Bakery "with a team of passionate people," as he describes them.