The Baker’s Float
One Eye on the Past and Another on the Future
The familiar whirr of the electric motor of a 1950s milk float returns to the streets of Dublin, leaving behind it the beautiful wafts of steam from breads pulled straight from the oven.
A planet faced with the reality of a pandemic, we watched businesses pivot to adapt, resulting in a loss of the connection to people, with products served through a hatch, with screens and masks. As a team we longed not only for the interaction that had been lost, but to pay tribute to the float’s part in the battle of zero-waste. As the government moves away from single-use plastics, we take part in an appreciation for the love of the float and use of glass bottles as we move gradually toward the zero-waste business we envision.
Forty years ago, milk and bread were delivered in these floats, 94% of milk straight to our doorsteps. Two years ago, this was just 3% but we look ahead, at the war against single-use plastic, and ponder the question of whether the humble milk float is the right weapon, the right opportunity. A moving part, a ‘clog in the machine’ of the Real Bread Movement.
In Germany, we find a Clifford’s Dairies electric milk float, a sticker in its corner asking, if you have ‘had your daily pinta yet?’ A lick of paint later, a new set of batteries, all done with respect for the original features, we step back and look at our float. The tall, oversized wheel and original gears, switches and headlights like eyes looking to the future with one on the past.
In an act of gratitude to our wonderful community that have continued to support us in what can only be called unprecedented times, we ask you, our tribe, to tell us where. What flourished from these choices has been a beautiful meeting of like-minded people selling Irish, local and independent goods made with the care and passion we ourselves depend on. Florists, farmers, hand-rolled ice cream makers, stalls with cuisines made with care so dominant one might mistake themselves to be in the country of the food they’re being served. The float sits within these markets which are themselves a busy love letter to people coming together to share their own worthy visions.
In our busy, covid-tainted lives, can we venture to invent a new street-hardened float-bearer, in the form a baker? Can we bring back the lost connection by letting you meet the bakers, the artists behind the real bread that counter the additive-filled bread stacked on supermarket shelves?
We envision a new generation of the ‘breadman’, the baker making bread with traditional methods, his hands deep in flour, salt and water. Truly at one with the elements, he carries the warm loaf to the float at dawn and drives to the suburbs, the sea, the streets where you live.
And now the float is on the move! To a place where a statue of the man who said that a dreamer is one who finds his way by moonlight stands. This has never been truer than in our world of night bakes, with dough mixed and loaves shaped under the moonlight for the you, your family, your friends.
Share in the passion and join us at the float’s next location, details released this Tuesday at 5pm.