Throwers, kneaders and folders - we know that nothing compares to homemade and so we want to take you on a journey through time, to find out where Allinson's passion for bread baking comes from…
A Story of Passion...
It all begins 125 years ago, with a Victorian doctor named Thomas Richard Allinson…Allinson was something of a pioneer, passionately encouraging people to eat well and to enjoy the simple, healthy things in life. This philosophy is still at the heart of what Allinson’s holds dear today.
Born in 1858 near Manchester, Allinson began working as a chemist’s assistant at the age of 15. Using the money he saved from this (as well as some financial help from his stepfather), in 1879 he qualified in medicine, at the age of 21.
During the 1880’s Dr. Allinson established his own practice in Marylebone which is where he developed his own theory of medicine, which is known as ‘Hygienic’ or ‘Allinsonian’ Medicine. With this, he believed that a healthy diet, exercise, fresh air and bathing promoted good health, as opposed to more orthodox medicines. He practiced as vegetarian diet and avoided alcohol, tobacco, coffee and tea and he especially promoted the benefits of stone-ground wholemeal breads.
In 1889 he released the book: The Advantages of Wholemeal Bread where he proposed that wholemeal bread was more beneficial than white (or refined) bread.
However, in those days such views were extremely radical and were to set him on a collision course with the medical establishment. The Royal College of Physicians doubted his theories and in 1892 he was struck off the medical register for his ‘radical thinking’. But he wouldn’t let that stop him pursuing his interest. After all, he didn’t need to be a doctor to make bread….
Ever since the industrial revolution nearly all flour was produced using roller mills. This refined the flour to such a degree that valuable nutrients and fibre were lost. Convinced of the value of whole wheat, in 1892 Allinson purchased his own stone-grinding flour mill in Bethnal Green, London and sets up his own bakery - The Natural Food Company with the slogan ‘Health without medicine’, and began baking bread his way.
During the first world war, in 1914, the Government finally accepts his theories on nutrition and the nutritional value of wholemeal bread. With this official acceptance, the demand for wholemeal bread and therefore, Allinson’s flour increases dramatically.
The General Medical Council offer to reinstate him...he turns them down.
In 1918, Dr. Allinson passes away. His legacy, the Allinson's brand became a byword for wholesome high-quality flour, which in turn produces wholesome, tasty and nutritious bread. A legacy that remains to this day.