31 Aug, 2023

Baking Intentions – Interview with Tom Herbert


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“When you have more than you need, build a longer table not a higher fence.” – Anonymous

Is there something that you really want to do but are afraid to do because of the adversities that come with it?

Sometimes we forbid ourselves from doing what we love most because it disengages us from the familiarities and comforts in our lives.

However, our passion can be the real reason for our existence. It can lead us to our legacy as well as the greatest service that we can provide humanity.

This is exactly what has happened to my special guest, Tom Herbert. Tune in and get to know him more.

Discover how he gave up becoming CEO of a long-existing family business for his greatest dream of establishing The Long Table. Since its establishment, it has connected thousands of people and provided food, resiliency, training, and employment opportunities.

Be inspired and learn how he overcame the challenges to fulfill his desire to provide better food and companionship for everyone.

You, too, can live your legacy.

Be intentional. Be where you want to be.


⚡️ Intentionality is leadership, vision, purpose, and values that goes with living the life we want.

⚡️ The “what ifs” is an invitation to do more and make things happen.

⚡️ Eating is not just about food but more of how we connect with each other.

⚡️ Stopping allows us to develop conversations with ourselves and with a higher source.

⚡️ Relationships done well last forever.

⚡️ We need to remember the things that make us intrinsically human and alive.

🔥 Faith is a massive component in building something. It:

  • Gives us peace.
  • Let us know we are not alone and that we are here for a reason.
  • Provides us with the courage to show up and face adversities.
  • Helps us make sense of the world and all the life in it.
  • Ends the day and starts a fresh one.
  •  Allows us to serve humanity with enthusiasm.

Important stories:

🎯 1:01 Who Tom Herbert is and how we met.

🎯 5:42 Tom Herbert’s perspective on being intentional.

🎯 10:36 What The Long Table is about.

🎯 20:27 Where the idea of The Long Table came from.

🎯 25:56 Tom Herbert’s faith.

🎯 31:16 Stepping out of the family business and having faith.

🎯 38:22 The beginning and the future of The Long Table

🎯 50:22 Reinventing organization.

Send us a message and tell us what is your biggest takeaway about this episode. 👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼


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About Pete Cohen: Pete Cohen is one of the world’s leading life coaches and keynote speakers. Hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world have been motivated and inspired by Pete’s presentations. He has professionally impacted the lives of thousands of people worldwide, including business executives, professional athletes, and everyday people.  Pete focuses on the importance of closing the gap in our lives between where we are and where we want to be, both personally and professionally.

It’s then all about coaching you to remove the obstacles that are in your way and helping you install the habits of success.

Pete is the author of 20 published books, several of which have been best-sellers across the world, including Shut the Duck Up, Habit Busting, Life DIY, and Sort Your Life Out. He has also presented his own show on TV called The Coach and was the resident Life Coach on GMTV for 12 years.

Pete Cohen:

All right, we're good to go. Tom, thank you so much for coming on the podcast. Thanks so much for having me. Yeah, it's interesting just to think about how we met because we met at Russell Brand's event, the community event, and I just had something to eat. And I walked past and I saw you, who I didn't know who you were. I already found out who you were afterwards, but it was something that you, I had no idea who you were. But you knew who I was, which was quite funny. Yeah. And I heard you say something about, look, we need to sit down and we need to be eating together and we should be making food available for everyone. No one should go without. And I thought, you know what? You're the type of person I want to have a conversation with because as our podcast evolves, it's been going for eight years, it is really about being intentional. And I thought this guy is very intentional. So tell us a little bit about yourself and... whatever you want to say about who you are, what you do, and our chance meeting. Or actually, how did you know me? That was- How did I know you? Well, I recognized your face straight away and quickly my mind was fine because I had a table full of people feasting in front of me. And as you said, I was speaking to these people and then you came in sideways. I was like, I know this guy. And it was from probably about 10 years ago. I was getting going doing TV stuff. I made some things on my own. The first thing out the gate, having been a contributor to things like Mary Porter's Queen of Shops, there was this epic episode that I think got her a BAFTA where she bought a baker from Wimbledon. It was a disaster to my bakery, Hobbs House Bakery in Nalesworth, just across the hill from here. So I'd done contributed bits. I was a baker, fifth generation baker. Yeah, grew up above my family's bakery. And yeah, and so I got going with that and then in time got to have my own TV show and somewhere which was with my brother called the Fabulous Baker Brothers. So that was on Channel 4 and we did three seasons of that. It was epic, wasn't it? Oh, we went- Well, I think you started off a bit of a revolution. whole baking. Well, baking now is like, you know, there's so many TV programs. Right. Yeah, we kind of came out about the same time as the Bake Off. I was going to be the third judge on that. So there was like that huge crushing disappointment of like, oh no, I didn't make it. But then just as that door closed, the other one opened to do the show with my brother. And yeah, we were sharing our making stuff by hand, taking time to let your dough rise while you sleep so you can pop something in the oven first thing in the morning and fill your house with the best smell in the world. It was all of that. And at that time, eating lots of buns and just lots of food, generally enthusiastically trying, you know, we had, there were bits of that show where we would go to help. a cafe or a restaurant and a tourist hotspot, you know, and we were encouraged to kind of say, oh, one of everything on the menu, you know, and kind of, but it was so much fun. And but of course that comes with the consequences. You've got to kind of keep healthy and in shape. And I spoke to Kyle at personal Kyle at personal best studio. Yeah. Who's my friend who I've just come from his house. I was at university with him. I knew him in 1989. So you were training in his gym. Yeah. He's like, right. Yeah, we can work you out a regime. And because I wasn't always at home, I was away a lot filming. He kind of gave me stuff to take away. And that's where you start showing up. He's like, there's this guy, Pete, you know, his link to his videos. And so I remember particularly learning from you about it's how we think about food and how our relationship in our head to exercise. You know, that was all new content for me and I found it super helpful. It's funny how our worlds meet in terms of, because my background in being on television was actually about weight loss, but my approach to weight loss is completely different to most people. I'm not a fan of calories in, calories out. I'm all about eating food, colorful food, food that someone cooks, food that someone wanted to cook. And you know, just like you, and I'm sure that's what massively where... long table food. That to me is where I'd love us to dive into this conversation because intentional people are people to me. Well yeah I was going to ask you, let me ask you what does being intentional mean to you? Well it's choosing to do something Um hmm. There's like there's what you we can be in the motions of living just like and sometimes it's enough right just to show up I think that's fine sometimes that's all we can do but intentional seems to me to it's where leadership and vision and purpose and our values these things that are to do with what not the life we're living, but the life that we might want. And, and how what change is needed in us in order to move in that direction. And it can be a lifetime's work, aren't it? But intentional is choosing to do something that moves you in the direction of where you want to go. Yeah. You know, so my colleague, Dr. Ray Sylvester, who's a professor in Illinois from the UK, he would love to have been here talking with us today, you know, small room. Yeah, we would squeeze him in. Yeah, we would. We would always find a way. Yeah. And it's someone who is very intentional. And I think you also have something really uncommon with him around faith. Faith is very, very important to him. Right. Which is something I would love to touch on. Do you want me to like I could say that that's one of the ways that faith is important. Part of my life is that. I guess in order to make sense of this crazy thing that's the world and all of the life in it with, you know, all that goes on and we've all seen more than we want of all of that, I suppose. How do we make sense of it if at all? I don't have, I didn't profess to have any kind of special insight other than to say that. it feels that there's a piece that I know for myself that comes from connecting with God with... higher motives and beings and seeing that. that actually... I mean, is there a plan? Sometimes I feel like there's a plan and other times I'm not so sure. But like, it's a way of, what it can do is, I don't feel alone on this journey, that's massive. And it's because of a great team of community, but also my faith is a part of that. And it's to do with doing the brave thing is not just doing the obvious thing or shunning away from challenge or adversity, but like stepping up to it. And in that moment, there's a sense of like, well, I'm here for a reason, like all these experiences, you know, standing on the shoulders of giants is another way of saying, you know, I'm a fifth generation baker, I feel like they have this wealth of experience and, and the great privilege of growing up in a loving family. I'm the oldest of six, where my grandparents prayed for me, you know, trusting that we'd be safe. And so I've kind of like being raised up and nurtured. Now, I feel like I must. do something with that. I could just sit and watch TV or slob out. But where I feel like there's, I want to channel all that's gone into my life towards something. And I suppose my faith helps me to make sense of that and to be brave and to show up. Well, I mean, you're definitely playing a game. You're playing one of the most important games that any person can play. The way I look at it from an outside, which I would which I would love to dive into. Well, you want community, you want people to support each other, you want people to be fed, you don't want people to go without. I mean, what a great reason to get up every single day, but it must be a challenging game because a lot of people don't want to play that game. But when I find people that are playing that game, I think, well, what can I do to help and support them? Because my thing, my intention is I love to serve people, I want to serve the people who are serving others. I just, I think... And if people listen to this and someone listens to it and goes, well, I want to be a part of that. What can I do? Or they decide to do something similar. Yeah. But I admire you for just choosing to do what's difficult and being intentional means you have to keep, for me, it seems like you just got to keep going. Can you tell us what the long table is actually all about? Tell us what the philosophy is. I've just come here today for the first time. You've shown me around. We're in this beautiful little retreat space. It's like being in a matchbox. Right. It's lovely. It's a little wooden thing. It's a little window. We're looking out the green. It's a place of contemplation. It is. What a great place to record a podcast. Right. So tell us about the long table. Where did the idea come from? Yeah. Well, it comes from my love of- food but especially it comes from my love of eating together. Like that was my family experience. So you know and also someone told me recently I'm an Enneagram 7. One of my fears is being alone. I'm fairly preoccupied with where the next meal is coming from. I don't know. You'd have to delve back into my early childhood to understand that. I guess having lots of younger siblings underneath. Yeah, they're always taking your food, right? So anyway, that's fairly like at the core of my motivation is like a huge love of like just this companionship, like being together. Companion is with bread, eating, breaking bread around the table, sharing together. And that has been my experience growing up or certainly the highlight. You know, it's a thing that can happen every day given the right conditions. And it makes me sad that when I think about my own fear, like to eat alone, to not know where the next meal comes from, I think, heck, that's something I could give some, you know, my energy in my life and my focus towards and bring creativity, like these things that just that we have swirling around us, like aim it at that. So we came up with this. And so also like I do like that, by the way. aim it at that, aim it at something that is nourishing, serving. So we then go to like, it's a few things. It's like, when I think about when I'm very old, I want to know what the restaurant of the future looks like. And I want to have had a hand in that, you know, and so here, this is an, it's a creative experiment, attempting to build a restaurant for the future. So it might present as like you come in and see, oh, it's a soup kitchen, or oh, it's like a food bank plus, but that's not really what it is. It's an amazing team of people that have quit their jobs or have been out of work for a long time or youngsters that have struggled at school coming together and saying, right, how can we every day show up and make this better? And we've got a question that kind of helps us make sense of all the options and it's a simple what if question. So, and the great thing about what if is that like, it's invitational, like if you see an answer to it, it's like helping set up a podcast, then you know, that could be part of it. So the what if is, what if everyone in our community, or your community, had access to great food and people to eat it with? Or isn't that, like, wouldn't that be a great thing? Everybody. So the long table is literally trying to answer that question and because it's such a huge problem, the way that food makes us sick, the way that people are alone, the way that our food system is hugely damaging to the planet. I heard recently that we create enough calories to feed 10 billion people. There's enough food in the world. It's just not in the right places. There's enough people in the world that no one should be lonely. Half the food can't eat. and the people who can eat in societies, I think 40% of Americans are obese, 70% are overweight. It's like, this is just ridiculous. People can't eat and people can eat too much. This is really out of control. We've got logistics problem, we've got... We've got isolation problem, we've got a minister of loneliness. We've got people that don't sit down and talk to each other. And I think to myself, if I got to the end of my life, what would I have wished that I'd done more of? And I know what it is. I wish I would have spent more time sitting around with the people I love, eating, cooking, eating the food they cook for me. And I wonder what is it about that makes it so important? I mean, there's so many elements. It's timeless, right? Yeah. It's something that we've done for generations and hopefully will continue to do. I mean, there was an idea, wasn't there, in the early sci-fi films that we'd be popping kind of roast dinner tablets. But actually, who wants to do that? Yeah. We want to hang out and make... And imagine, you know, the long table people meet their neighbours here. They don't like they didn't always get the opportunity to do that just by living next door. And so the one so the one thing that I'm kind of aiming at is. I hear to get into kind of nuts and bolts of it, I'm counting the number of bowls of food. So that's the number I want to see going on. That's my job to see that the table grows longer and more and more people get. the choice of eating a meal at the long table. And every meal, it's not just any food, it's a few things. It's, I kind of split it up ABCDE, but I won't bore you with all this, but it's like A is agriculture, where our food comes from is super important. So here we list the suppliers and producers and farmers and growers that are hyperlocal, and we champion them. They're growing things in a hopeful, regenerative cooperative. I saw a community farm when I was walking up in Stroud somewhere. Amazing. Yeah, right. So, that's one of the fortunate things about getting this started where I live is that... Yeah, the community already exists in Stroud. It's very big. So, we want to champion that and show that this might work to other communities that are thinking or getting started. So, where the food comes from is super important. We also take a small amount from fair share, 75 kilos a week, and that goes into the mix as well. So some food that will otherwise go to waste. But mostly it's getting from these producers. And then we bring that grape produce into the kitchen. Well, then you just don't have to screw it up because if it's grape produce, then it's already gonna taste great. But we know, so we train up youngsters. We've done apprenticeships with Gloucester College. And that's building capacity for the future. So you just met Owen, our chef. So he's now doing that and we're starting again this summer, Teenage Kitchen, to bring in 15 year olds or year 10s when kids are deciding they may be struggling at school or their teachers think this might be a good fit. So we'll bring these kids in, showing them how to make food from scratch is what we always do. And really importantly, making sure it's delicious. So you get one bowl of food that's come from the great outdoors inside, add value to it in the kitchen. And then importantly, we make it available to everyone pay as you can. So we, we each month calculate what all the, because everyone has paid living wage or more, everyone who works here can also own the business because it's a community interest company, a social enterprise. So when you, so last month it was seven pounds, five P for a meal. And we served, we had a business month ever here and served over 3,300 people. 50% of people paid that amount or more. 50% paid that amount or more? Yep. Like paying a meal forward in some instances. So someone else can come and eat for free. And the rest of the people paid less than that amount. Sometimes kind of hovering around the kind of 3-4 pounds, quite popular. And 11% of people last month had a meal paid for by one of their neighbours. So you get one of these wooden tokens from the counter. We try and make that as discreet and unjudgmental as possible. Some people ask for a meal for Tom. It's not me. And they can then they'll then get given one. And then you go present the token at the kitchen and they don't know who's paid what and when you're sitting down, we've had everything from billionaires to bishops, to buskers, to mums, you know, really overwhelmed by this. thing of having small children, you know, every local elderly people, we've got the recovery community well represented by Nelson Trust locally, they've got three houses with 50 people and they come in a couple of times a week. So it's a good old mush of everyone sitting down together. And then really, it's about building community. Yeah, building those connections that are easily made at the table. It's the connections. It's the collaborations when you start realizing that there are people in your community that you know, the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker, where, you know, my dad always said to me, son, it's not what you know, it's who. And I've dedicated my life to just getting to know people more out of curiosity, but then being able to connect people. And, you know, we do live, as you said, in a real crazy toxic world where people have really bought into this idea of me and what I have and what I have created. But ultimately, the way I look at it is I know a lot of very rich people who are extremely unhappy and they seem to get happier where they start doing something of service and my background is personal development but I even think that's overrated I think it should be more about serving development how can I serve at a higher level and I really admire you for what you've done where did the idea come from oh from this so um so I left my family business in 2016 why did you leave I mean just to give people who are listening to this all over the world, can you give us a sense of the Hobbes family and what that business is and why you walked away? Yeah, so it's called Hobbes, but it's two families. It's my mum's family Wells and then my family Herbert. So if anyone Googles it's Tom Herbert, not Hobbes. So us Hobbes have been, like the business got going 100 years ago and I'm the eldest, not only of the six, but also the 36th grandchildren. And I went to Bacon College. I just absolutely loved it. And I got to the point where, you know, my dad and uncles were working, we were working out a succession plan and it was chosen that I would be the CEO going forward. And as that time got closer, I was like a year off and I was having coaching myself, trying to prepare myself as best I could to take on this hundred year old business with 180 employees, great heritage basically. It was something I was really up for. But meanwhile, because of the TV stuff I had been doing, then there was offers to do charitable work. And I ended up, oh, I was invited to become an ambassador for Tierfun, which is a international development charity, a Christian organization. And they said, oh, we work with some bakeries. Would you like to go and see them? And really opened up my eyes to the circular economy. The way they were doing things is like, you know, is about a hand up rather than a hand out. I learned that the hand that gives is higher than the hand that receives. I learned a lot about charity that I didn't really want to replicate. So that's why I ended up going down the social enterprise. But also what it looks like to be in solidarity working side by side with others. And it reminded me of this amazing thing, like if you teach a person to fish, they'll never go hungry. And I thought, oh. So I. There was so much I wanted to do, but I couldn't give words to this feeling. And I didn't know because it was like this feeling that, oh, there's so much to be done in the world of food that I love. And I just don't know how I can do it in my family business. And I suppose I didn't trust myself to do it within the context of the family business without breaking the relationships with my brothers. I thought, you know, there's such a clear route forward for the bakery that had a lot of people inputting in and so on. And I could see that they could do it without me. And so I felt like if any of these feelings I have are valid or true, I'm going to have to let myself out. And did you speak to anyone about that? About the fact that you were... Just my wife, just Anna. What did she think? Well, she thought it was mad for a long time. And then she could see that... these enthusiasms that were bubbling in me. I didn't have a home for them. They were, I couldn't do this because of that. I couldn't do this because of that. And, and she got to the point where she said, you know, really, it's nuts and bolts is about paying bills and the mortgage. And we've got four kids doing GCSEs and A levels at the time. You know, so it sort of felt reckless in one way, but she came to the point of saying, you know, she couldn't see me that way. She wanted to, she remembered me how I was when I'm really alive and I was trying to squeeze myself into a role that I must do. And I was just, it's like a round peg square hole type scenario. I just, it was very uncomfortable and I, and so it was a big relief thinking, actually, I don't, this isn't for me. And how was that received by you? Oh, everyone was worried, concerned. It's funny, it's a big moment in the family. Why? I know that might sound like a really stupid question. Well, because it's like, you know, it was worked out that I would take on the running of it. And I suppose- Would have been the logical thing. It was the logical thing. And I, but I suppose I felt more like that would be a caretaker role rather than I didn't really trust that I would get to add the next chapter and really work out some of these things that were questions that were a light and things that were on my heart. I couldn't. And what sort of questions were those? What do how powerful would it be if we if we moved to shared ownership? What does our strapline is put bread on the table. It came from a beautiful poem by a guy called Thomas Clark, that has in it prop the door open with stone, put bread on the table. Such a beautiful image to me, an invitational one. And, you know, I was wondering, like, what would it look like if we did bread for everyone? Because artisan bread isn't accessible to everyone. Like, and, you know, I couldn't really work these things out. I just admire you for listening, you know? Listening to the questions and then pondering the answers. Yeah. What part does faith have in your ability to... to tackle those questions because they're the questions that I, from my experience, most people, they wouldn't go down that road. Interesting. So I've heard you talking about gratitude and how important that is. That's like easy, not easy, an obvious place to start. For me, I would say that like, well, when it comes to, so, you know, I guess it's accepted that meditating, praying, stopping, breathing, connecting. Not just with the hustle and bustle of every day, but the bigger stuff like, why am I here? What might I do next? Is important and in the faith that I've inherited that I grew up with, you know, prayer has been an important part of that And that is to say To use a culinary analogy teaspoon. So T is thank you So just gratitude showing up and recognizing that we get to stop the team carry on cooking I get to look out the window and see the river You know, I feel great. I'm really grateful I met you. Yeah. Thing, you know, stopping and showing gratitude is important. But that gratitude for me is thanking God, like, because that's where I think good things come from. Sorry is the S, TSP. Sorry is like, this is like kids Sunday school stuff. Yeah, I like it. S is sorry. And that's now recognising that, hey, we screw up. There's my colleague, like Will Manslerts to talk about Humphder. the human propensity to fuck things up. Yeah. Over and over and over again. Sin is means to miss. So if there's a target, Yeah, that's what sin, the original sin. Yeah. Missing the mark. So missing the mark. So we, anyone who's alive know like, We all miss the mark. Knows how that feels. So saying sorry for stuff is a way of, it's not to absolve ourselves from it, but just to admit, you know, that we screw up and some days, you know, Bad stuff happens, we didn't sharpen the way we wanted to, those kind of things. But to end the day well, start afresh. And for me, my Christian faith has, you know, if I believe that Jesus died for us, for our sins, so that we can have new life, then I have to kind of... It sounds mad saying it, it's perhaps even more mad trying to live as if that's true. But what that means is like, we get to show up in a way where we can put that behind us, but we've got to be faithful to what's next. And then the P is for please. So like being alive to what's needed and recognising that and naming that. So here we have a daily breadboard where if you need something, you stick it up, anyone in the team or to do with work or just like share stuff. And if share what you need. and that is much better than keeping it to yourself and becoming really cantankerous. We're social beings, right? And we want to... it feels good to help each other. I really appreciate the way you talk about your faith, because I think that some people feel self-conscious about talking about their faith. When I think, whatever your faith is, if it gives you faith, to do things that serve humanity, then bring it on. You have faith and I'm looking at the ingredient, I'm looking at how did this happen? And obviously your faith is a big part of it. But the other part I must say before I forget is you also give a really powerful perspective of the stock. Joseph and John have it. Oh, I'm so sorry, put that on. It's called life. So sorry, put that on. It's called life, we'll keep that in. Who was it? It's my daughter Josephine. Can I just tell her? I'm because I do have her on override. Joseph, I'm just recording something. Can I call you back in a minute or is it emergency? Oh lunch is mac and cheese Love you. Bye. We definitely keep him Because food is It's so important you give another perspective On the power of stopping and I think this is what I took from what you just said Thank you for this because I think it's great that we're looking out the window at this tree and some greenery. It's going to be blackberries soon. Oh, well definitely. Amazing. That when you stop and contemplate, what I take is that you can develop that conversation with yourself, conversation with the higher source God, whatever you want to call it, where you can start to get to know what's the right thing for me to do. In contemplating. what you went through now, I'm thinking, you just must have known, it must have been so obvious, this is what I have to do, I have to walk away from that, because that's not for me. Yeah, do you know what, I didn't have a plan. That was the crazy thing. Yeah, yeah. I didn't have a plan. I said to Anna that I'd get something started or I'd get a job in three months. I actually had a year, I managed to cobble some stuff together. I wrote a book called Do While Baking, which had been on the back burner for a long time. But for me, it's felt like... So just a few things I want to respond with that while I'm on a boil. You got me on a boil. So one is that, yeah, that moment of stepping out to the family business, what's familiar, what's safe. I didn't even think about it until the moment it happened. In the moment felt so obvious. My dad and I hugged and he and I thought about, oh, should it be sabbatical? Do I just need to break? I'm going to knock it out. Just been working too much. She's like, I think. you should go and do your thing. And so that was you as well. Well, yeah, but also didn't let me have a whole like a really long holiday. Just like it's all or nothing. Yeah, he's very much of being a like, let you know. Yes, yes. You know, you know, and that's been a great example for me. And to the frustration of the team here, they're like, Tom, well, you're going to I'm still thinking about it. Yeah. You know, and that's important as well. Right. Yeah. Because you know that when it when it if it's a yes, yes. It's not information. You need more information. need time, you need contemplation. It doesn't feel right for some reason, those kind of things. So I mean that sounds very privileged doesn't it to be in... No, I don't think it sounds privileged, I think it sounds very obvious and very wise. So then... It rhymes with my wife by the way. Yeah, is it her birthday tomorrow? Tomorrow. The Hannah, you know that's exactly... if it's a yes, it's a yes, if it's a no, it's a no. There's nothing... ambiguity is a... is not a good place. And then when you decide, her motto, as you probably heard me say, because I saw you like that video this morning, is just get on with it. Yeah, just get on with it. But you know, she was always one of, take your time, just, you'll know. Right. And that just get on with it is a bit like from a faith perspective is like, well, if you feel it's what God wants you to do, get like, how can you fail? Now that sounds really hard. Like it doesn't feel like that. But for me, after that hug, deciding, right, I got to. take this path and I don't know where it's going. I sat and got back in my polo and I was overwhelmed with emotion like my body like convulsed. Yeah yeah. I made growling noises like it was a full-on experience and I had this sort of image of like the gate being open like a caged door. I didn't feel caged but like I was let out somehow and I was like wow and I've never felt more alive. scared, terrified, thrilled than in that moment. And it felt like it brought vividly to mind a thing in that's in the Bible of like Peter stepping out of the boat, it's the walking on the water. It's a mad story. But if you take it from what it feels like, it feels like the boat is safe, stepping out on water does not feel like that, just is mad. But then for me in that moment, it was like I wrote for myself that I wanted to have for my new life. Dirt on my hands and knees like a camel. That is to say, keeping my eyes on Jesus. I figure like, if I'm gonna be, like I've been brought up a Christian, I'm not religious as to say, I don't do religious type things. But I do want to. show that if it's true, then what I'm called to do is to follow Jesus, which means to keep my eyes on him like Peter did. And when I don't, I feel like I sink. So how do I do that? It's to do with accepting that there's something here for me to do, that there's a bit of like, well, what will be will be. The timing is more on God than on me. So when things take a lot longer than I thought, that helps me to be a bit more relaxed about saying, okay, well, in this moment while I'm waiting, what? What's the lesson here? What am I supposed to be learning? What am I missing? So I've had a huge amount of that over the last five years. And then just with regards to, well, why would I even, like it's such an unusual, modern, perhaps awkward thing to profess to, well, being attempting to follow Jesus. Well. There's a lot about it that just, like, A, it's what I grew up with, but it's a lot that really attracts me. And it's like in the person of Jesus, and that's that his first miracle was turning water into wine, and it was the best wine. After his resurrection, one of the first things he did was to have a fish barbecue on the beach. Like this guy is just eating and doing great wine. And so I don't like I'm not a theologian. I don't. But it helps me. But when you talk about turning water into wine, I'm just thinking about what you do here. Yeah. you turn something into something. Right, and I've done that as a baker. You take water and flour, and if you mix them together, you can make it rise and bubble and become bread, right? The alchemy doesn't surprise me. I think the whole thing about faith, I just think it's such a massive component of building something. And I love the fact that you stepped into something, even though you didn't have a plan. And that, I just, I encourage people to... stop and listen to what maybe you feel you're being called to do. Whether that's some form of contribution, some form of growth. I just have to tell you a story that couple of stories that came to mind. So I did some work with Marks and Spencer's years ago with their food scientists. And it was nothing to do with food science. It was to do with working more better in teams. And I don't know. why I decided to say this. I just said, how many of you believe a calorie is a calorie, regardless of who cooked it? And I can't remember what happened, but I think most people said, no, calories are calories, regardless of who cooked it. I said, okay, all right, I'm going to go into the kitchen. I'm going to go and cook a meal. And I'm going to be in a really bad mood. I'm going to be cussing all of you and be really angry. But you don't know that. I'm going to come out and bring you this meal. I'm going to go in the kitchen. I'm going to go make a meal. I'm going to just love doing it. And and play some beautiful music in the background and just enjoy every aspect of putting all the colors in and bring it and bring it out. I said, which one of those would you want to eat? And of course they all went, the one you enjoyed making. And then I said, well, do you think there's a possibility that your body might handle those foods differently? And then they started disagreeing with each other and had this big argument because some of them said, no, actually, no, your body would handle the food differently from the person who enjoyed making the food. I wanted to tell you that because again, I got that sense of we're making this and it's for everybody. And we love to serve. We love to give. What better thing could you give someone than something that you made? Something that you have, whether that's money that you have and you want to give to give to someone else. To me, I just something what is the point of this existence if you're not giving something and that it could be passed on? And I just really appreciate you for doing that. Please tell us what's the vision? Where do you see this all going? Well, what has happened since you've been here? How long has this been going on for? Well, the first long table feast was just over five years ago. And I found myself coming down to the Grayson Network where there was already kid stuff furniture bank and asking how I could get involved. I had a couple of days spare before Christmas and I just thought, wow, what an amazing place. People work like from all walks of life, all working together, serving the community. And as I, yeah, let me show you this one little thing. Vicky was my first, I knew her from outside of work and she ran kid stuff and I was her first hire. She was hoping for like a young mom or something to help sort through bags of donated clothes into ages and what needs to be ragged. And she got me for two months. We all said, oh, Tom's looking for some work. It was 10 hours a week on minimum wage. And it took some explaining to Anna, like, oh, I've left the family business. I'm now doing a job in a warehouse. It was like... really cold and I was sorting through the donated clothes and I said to Vicky what um like what's your vision what's your values that kind of thing and she didn't she had no management or leadership background uh like commercial obviously she didn't really know what I was on about and she then kind of got the gist of what I was after I was just trying to work out how I could help and she pointed to a bit of a four on one of the metal posts that held the warehouse roof up and it was a verse from Psalm 40 and it said, it says in the Psalm, God pulled me out of the muddy mire, the slour of despond, like a horrible place, and put my foot on a rock, a firm place. And you'd think that that's what a charity should do, right? You like reach down and help someone out and pull them out to somewhere safer. But then the next bit blew me away because I'd I'd heard it before, but hadn't really seen it. And she just embodied and lived this. And it's pulled me out of my, I put my foot on a firm ground and then put a new song in my mouth. And that song coming from Vicky, just like a rallying call that pulled people in. Like here, you can get work, you can be in a team, you can be known, you can feel safe. You can participate in a hopeful work that's like the circular economy, taking what's no longer needed. bringing it back and giving it to people that need it. But in the process, creating all these human connections, building relationships, building resilience in people and the community. And it just really came alive for me. And I thought, oh my goodness. So as I got a chance, I shared, oh, I've got a vision. My vision is to do a long table. It came from this moment where the 2016... presidential election where Trump had people chanting, build the wall, build the wall. And I remembered this old saying, I don't know if someone could let me know where it comes from, I don't know. But it says, if you have more than enough, build longer tables, not higher walls. And I put that quote, or those words, against a beautiful image of this long table in a meadow with a mountain background. And it was the first, or the only time I've ever had something go viral. Like it just got posted, retweeted and so on. And I thought, well, there's energy in that. So the name, The Long Table, it'd always been there in my life, Long Table. So I've had several that I've engaged with, but it was there, it kind of revealed itself to me. And I thought, wow, imagine if there was a long table and anyone could eat there. And it was like, it was helping the food to be grown locally. So we build resilience. We don't wanna be like. Moving stuff around the world. That doesn't make sense. We'll do some stuff. Obviously you want lemons You want some you want some things but I know everything what if we cook it from scratch? It feels good What we're teaching kids how to cook, you know, all these things they start and they looked at me You're mad if you need a long table furniture banks got tables that how hard could it be? And so I try not to overthink it. I built a website. My friend Marcus made a beautiful logo And off we went and the first one 80 people came from all over the country and nearly didn't happen because of a potential violation of our lease. And I had to kind of call around at the landlord's house first thing in the morning on his holiday. And like any startup stories, it's like fraught with like, but then you start putting skin in the game, right? Like when I showed up at his house, I was terrified and his wife answered in a negligee and she was really angry that I would. But I needed his permission and then he was like, and you know, and you get, you kind of, then you're putting skin in the game and then it gets harder to give it up and people are wanting, they're like, they see the cause. They're like, I don't, I'm in, like, how can I? So then we set up this like subscription model where for five pound a week, anyone can join in and either come and claim a meal they've already paid for. It goes to someone who needs it. And by the way, we cook like 150 meals here every lunchtime. Whatever's not taken goes into our freezer of love network. We chill it down, freeze it, nothing goes to waste. And it goes out to these six freezers we've got around the community, the bigger states which are harder to reach. And so thousands of meals end up going out that way. And then any of the scraps from the kitchen and from the plates, they go into a composter and that gets made into the most nutrient dense. compost and now we grow all our herbs. Last year we spent £1,200 on herbs and this year it will be twice that and we're hoping to grow them all ourselves using the scraps. It's like when you've got a good team, like here the people that have joined in, they like come with their expertise in community building or agricultural, chefing and they're like how can I join in? We try and make it so that anyone can help us answer this question and get going. So the vision for the future would be I mean, when I'm feeling most like pumped, I kind of feel like there ought to be one opposite every McDonald's in the world, like, because that started, what was it, 70 years ago, I watched the film, it was amazing. The engineering, the insight about franchising, owning the land and like it made this incredible thing possible. Well, without having a judgment on that, because that would take up too much time, I don't have much capacity for that. Yeah, there's no focus. No, no, I'm not interested. But like. new things happen. What is wanting to happen in this moment? What are the new levers of like influence, power, that we can birth something new? And for me, the long take, it's taken five years to get to this place, but we feel like we're starting to work out. Like some of these things really have energy in them, connecting people around the table, making the food as delicious as possible, only having one thing on the menu. Like it's... It's such a preposterous proposition that like it's hard to have a website for people, you know, you have to come and eat here to experience it. And so now offers are coming in. We said that we want to go where we're invited. So we just signed the 15 year lease on the house of Fraser and Sirencester. So we're going to the high street. That's going to be our next. Wow. And people are gathering around that Mary. I was on Mary Portis's podcast and she's like, you know, she's queen of the high street. She's like. That's going to be awesome. It's obvious, isn't it? Right. It's really obvious that this is where it's all going to go. A department store of the future, not just the Long Table, but all of the organizers. Absolutely. Everyone, it's all going to work. Everyone. And then there's a group here that sent someone from Bristol. They want to do this in Bristol. We've yesterday, some of the team were looking at the old Mecca binger hall in Gloucester because we want to go to the centre of Gloucester. I'm planning for myself, and maybe if you hear this in time, a road trip to visit inspiring places. doing food around the UK. So I'm hoping to meet the guy, the happy pair guys over there. I've got about a dozen places to call in at, but I'm taking the sourdough starter that's me around. I need to keep feeding new culture and nutrients like, Oh, this works into what I am. And then sharing that as I go around, I want to bake my way around and hopefully, you know, perhaps there'll be a podcast off the back of that. Yeah, and just, so which way could it go? In a way, we've been really inspired here. I have, when I was in that transition from leaving my family business to coming here, this book like slammed straight into the middle. You know how a book can like really resonate with you. And this one was called Reinventing Organizations by Frederick Laleu. Yeah, yeah. So it's known sort of as Teal, the operating system. It's not that, but. Anyway, he describes, he visits 12 organizations, just breaking the mold and doing things and then completely starting from a different field, not coming from like his business as usual, how do we keep tweaking it and improving it to get better returns? It's like starting with a clear purpose and vision, one that people can join in and get behind. And the exciting thing about that, it's not like a cooperative, it's not like a charity. unleashes human potential. Yeah. And that's, I think a bit of what we're doing here, people are joining and they can shop for this purpose in any way they can, obviously, we've got to figure a way of fitting in, we have some sayings that serve as well go at the speed of trust is one of them. So people kind of meet with us with huge energy like right, wow, I'm quitting, I'm coming in, we're like, take your time. That's all we did with Bristol. We say, you know, if you can pay for someone to come here. which Kyle has done for three months, work side by side with us in solidarity, check we're legit, reflect back to us what you like and what you don't, then we'll know, okay, Bristol is now a person, it's now Kyle. It's not just like a franchise pack that we... Yeah. It's like slow cooking. It's like slow cooking. It's deeply relational. And when relations done well, if it's held within a framework... That's forever. Yeah. And huge things become possible. I've said a lot. Sorry, that wasn't... No, no, no. Listen, that's what I want. This isn't about me, people listen to my podcast, they've heard me speak enough. I love, I'm just reflecting on so many things you're saying and the thing that comes through more than anything else is intention. Like you said about skin in the game. When you've got skin in the game, you don't care that someone answers the door and they're angry and you have to deal with that. But it's like, no, this is far bigger than this. And you're playing a game that you have to be intentional because otherwise you get found out or. you'll fall down, you won't get up. And if you want to lead people, they have to see that. And what I was also reflecting on is that you're building, the hardest thing is getting something like this off the ground to get a movement. But getting momentum is easy, but a movement that takes a lot of momentum to the point where the thing just moves. You can't stop it. It's like a flywheel. I feel at the moment like we're coming, like if this thing's been around a couple of times, it's getting quicker. I don't know. quite where that goes but like maybe I don't think you get to know exactly that's why I mentioned the kind of reinventing organization because they have three things of like self-management which we've reinterpreted is like everyone leads on something even if it's your first day yeah how can I give trust to a new person maybe they've been excluded from school and you know what's my version of giving them the front door key and say look while you're here until you break the trust that's you're in. And then allowing people to really lead in whatever and grow in their influence and what they lead on. There's invitation to wholeness, like that's why we have a retreat space here. And this is one of seven spaces. There's the refactory where we go through all of them. But like there's a kind of operating system that helps hang this all together. And the invitation to wholeness is like doing gratitude together, trying You know, there's that thing of like, just leave it at the door when you come in. But people get hurt in that way. And the problem with that is that as described by reinventing organizations, we end up with people just showing up in the smallest possible way and living out of an expect working, sorry, out of an expectation of what they think management thinks they should be doing here. We're like, we want to see all of you. And if there's bits that are problematic, let's as a community, try and. share, you know, it may be that someone else has been recently in a similar thing peer to peer, like what might you do to journey with people to wholeness. Now that's a massive topic, but it feels really different here. And that's why I think people say they love working. And then the third bit is evolutionary purpose, which is not to put so much on the 10 year vision, the five year vision, but be intentional, show up and then see where it goes. Like Our budgets, we call them trellises. We have budgets like any organisation do, but we're putting up, okay, with best information, this is how it might go. And of course we need them to lead the business and manage by, but we, we remember they're pretend they're just our best guests because what we've perhaps experienced in corporate world is that people get crushed by these things and they're not performing and it's for all sorts of reasons, but if you can make it that person's fault, you know, people get really burnt out. by work. So here we're trying to be truthful in our interactions. We took from, is it Otto Schumann did this book called Theory U that I found really helpful. And I reinterpreted that in the shortest hand way possible, wobbling up. And that's to say that when someone has an idea or an enthusiasm to try something new, an enthusiasm comes from like God given inspiration. Yeah, so I know that feeling, right? You bubble up and you think, oh, we should try this. Yeah. And then you have to then use the advice process, speak to everyone it's likely to impact. And then when you are as informed as possible, we'll back you as a team to do it. But the wobbling up means that there's no straight way from where we are to where we get to. It gets harder before it gets better. So we try and bake that in. Bake that in. Yeah, an expectation here that like, it gets harder before it gets good again. So it's just about knowing, well, where are we on that? Does it feel really crappy because we're here? Or are we, you know, and often we need, we find what we need in those lower bits in the wobbling up. and they help us to get to where we're going to. And so we've a few things like that, like starting to become part of the culture, part of how we speak to each other, interact. And my hope is that we've been equipped here to do a good and a good work that will be fruitful and it's fruit will be people eating in communities in a way that none of this is new, we're just remembering, which is to remember. Like we used to eat together, we used to grow some of our own veg, our grand, you know, my grandparents used to grow a lot of their own produce. It's not like we have to go back, but we need to remember some of these things are intrinsically what make us human and alive. And when we sit down as a family, you know, we give thanks for our food because like, wow, so much has gone into doing that. It's not just opening a packet and like we have cheap night nights, of course. Yeah. But, you know, this is what it means to be alive and eating. isn't just about calories, it's how we, it can be how we connect with each other. And a lot of people don't have that opportunity. I think it's my job to work out what are the barriers to that and how do we remove them such that this new thing can happen. And, um, one way could be gone. Sorry. Yeah. And one just like little itch I've like, this terrifies the team. So I hope they don't hear that. I hope they're feeling safe and strong when they, if they do get to listen to this, but like, In the work that I did with Henry with the Baker Brothers, we ended up going to the States and doing a mini series there. And we did quite a lot of work in Southeast Asia. And it was great to go out, but it was always like. It didn't really connect with what I was doing here, like showing people in Taiwan how to make scones is great fun when you're up on stage and they're all screaming. And it was wonderful. I loved it, but it was so disconnected. And it puts in, it's sewed in me a desire to like. One day I would love to come back with Anna in particular, and I would like to have a meaningful thing to engage, like I want to do it well, better next time, more nourishing. And so I know that that's a preposterous thing, and I don't really feel it's on me as to where this ends up going, but already we've got a meal planned Renaissance in November in Hackney. It'd be the third time I've gone to that. gathering of people. We're hoping to do a feast there and the question will be do does Hackney want a long table? Now if they do there'll be ways of figuring out. It'll be a good place actually. I would imagine Hackney's in. Yeah I'm hoping so. Because it's such a diverse. And helping us out with that team. I think diverse, sorry. Yeah helping us out on that team is a woman Rachel Snyder who came and stayed with Anna and I for three days and she's from New York and she's got similar things going and I would love to. It feels like we've been in this. I've been in this valley for five years and it's been like it's changed my life. And we come out of lockdown and then we've had to build a new home and make it safe and get things going. This social enterprise, and this isn't a boast, it's just a surprising observation that a couple of times the long table has made a profit. But because it's a community interest company. that gets re-invested back into the thing. So think, you know, and it's quite rare to be able to do that as a social enterprise thing. I reckon if we can do it in, you know, two miles outside a Stroud, what would it look like to do it in other places? And that's something I'm really excited to find out. Well, honestly, I would love to be a part of what you'll do. Even just getting this podcast out and encouraging people to, which is one of the questions as we start to round this up, encouraging people to ask what... we do to help you but I would say one thing to people is come here. This is such an incredible place. Stroud actually is incredibly unique in the market they have here on a Saturday and the food court and the downstairs. I mean it's just, I mean it's a game changer. There's something in the water. We were the last place in the UK to adopt the British, the Grange Mean Time, the British Railways had to align their clocks and Stroud's always been like... Yeah. Non-conformist. Yeah, it is something in the air. And I think that you're going to say as the big companies, well, they'll leave. They won't be able to survive. You can see it's already happening. You'll see that people won't go to McDonald's. It won't be the thing to do. And you can just see that it's all going to happen. And I admire you for being ahead of the game of just realizing, hang on, there's something here. We're going to do this. You don't have to get behind us. But if you do... Let's go. And I would love to be a part of what you're doing. If I can help in any way, whatever that is, whatever capacity, whether it's speaking to your team or doing whatever it takes. Because I want to, well, thank I want, I'm selfish. I want to be a part of what you're doing. You know, because it's, it's just beautiful. What can Martin Luther King famously said the most, apart from I have a dream. He said the most important question we should be asking each other is what can we do for each other? Yeah. So. With the people that listen to this podcast, and people listen to it all over the world. We're very big in Uganda. Amazing. Which is quite weird. And the reason for this is that a few years ago, I met a young man who looks after 101 children. He runs an orphanage. He doesn't like the word orphanage. I totally get that. Right, sure. And he had a vision of buying a farm. His father was a farmer, but they didn't have a farm anymore. So we raised the money. We bought a farm. He now has this farm. We've now raised, we've almost raised enough to buy a tractor. They've already harvested the second round of peanuts, guava, and he just wants this place to be in. I'd love you to meet him. I'm sure we'll do something in the fullness of time. Yeah. And what they want to do is create something that they don't need money from the West. They want something which is self-sufficient. And it's amazing when you take the time to listen and you think, OK, what's this person's vision? And he told me his vision and I just thought, I want to be a part of that. What can I do? How can I help? So. What can we do for the people that listen to this? What would you like us to do for you? Right, okay, so. Go at the speed of trust, as I just said. Put your toe in the water. That would be like the usual things. Follow us on our social, the long table. Sign up to our newsletter via our website. Just like get to hear what we've got. We'll put all of those links. All of those, yeah, right. So that's just like get to know us a bit more, see what it looks like. But please, if you can, come and eat here. Or if ever you're passing. If you live nearby, bring someone who maybe would really appreciate a meal out because. that's an open invitation. Where you are, lots of people won't be near here, make time to eat with other people, connect over a meal. Maybe you've already done that, but maybe you've forgotten you've not felt the benefits of that. If it feels hard, then maybe your expectations are too high. Like just, you know, you could maybe... make something simple or buy something simple and meet on a bench and just have a chef share a sandwich or something you know and have a conversation over food meaningful connections be brave and go deep ask how are you know I think we love quite good questions at the long table that open up conversation when we do an event we have a we print off a full place mats and put conversation starters on them. I love all of that. You're talking my language. Get people, you know, and have an expectation that like, amazing things happen when we eat together. If your life is missing, amazing, then have a meal with other people. Say to your mates, hey, should we do a meal? I've heard this podcast. And then if it gets really, like, depends how ambitious you are, so do that. But then. I had a great conversation just recently with the guys at St. Church in Hackney that are doing Renaissance again for the third time. And they're like, how can we take this further? Let's source ingredients hyperlocally. They've got honey on the church roof, you know, all that kind of stuff. Let's see in their community who's at culinary school that would love to be part of a team for one night to do an event. Let's get them in. The Lighthouse project there. feeds people really vulnerable and in need, we're gonna be in the same space as their space. Some of them have done a floristry course. Let's ask those people, can they, you know, what's the budget and can we make this place look beautiful for a banquet or a feast and get these people that are used to eating they're involved in beautifying it and see if that can have any legacy. Let's make sure anyone from that community that wants a seat at the table gets a seat. So the first should be last and the last should be first. Let's make sure. The people that eat there aren't shunned out. They get a seat there. And then let's open it up to this community. I think there'll be about 800 people coming from all over the world and do first come first serve to however big the table is and invite people to be generous and see that a new thing happens. There's like a spirit to doing it a long table way. And each Christmas we've done the longest table, which is a PDF pack that we make available online. We updated each year with what? And last year 60... communities ate together, there was hundreds of people and they raised money that some of that was turned then into meals that we can put through our kitchen here. But basically it's a pack for a feast with everything that we've learned and I think that's got energy that's going to continue to grow and the table will get longer and longer. Yeah, so that's my encouragement to anyone listening. Yeah, we know when you grow something well enough and you form such a strong foundation. you just can't stop it from growing. But it's just forming that foundation, which is another thing I think you've got a real talent for managing excitement and turning that into enthusiasm. Because excitement never lasts. Enthusiasm can be maintained. And you seem to be able to, you've probably learned that from being in the family business and your own experience and from cooking. You know, great things often do take time. And I think lastly, I just want to say, you know, it's quite sensitive to say this, but only because it's emotional, that my wife who was given 18 months to live in 2011, prior to having this brain tumor or the diagnosis of the brain tumor, she used to smoke, her diet was terrible. And I wanted her to learn how to cook. So I found someone and I remember Hannah saying, she'll never get me to like cooking. Not only did she get to like cooking and become a brilliant cook, she wrote a cookbook called the Team Hannah Cookbook. And when she cooked, I was always so annoyed because I could make the same thing as her, but I couldn't make it taste as good. And there was something about her and her energy. And since she's gone, and now my father-in-law who lives with me, I think he's going to go and move away. I want to be in this house on my own. And I haven't felt like cooking. I do like cooking, but I've just lost that. desire and I've just been with Carl who you know who wrote that book and inspired and you've got a recipe in there I believe. He's cooked for me every night apart from one night when we had something to eat and it's lit a fire in me now even if I'm cooking for myself but also to invite people because the table we have in our house is a round table that was in my parents house and that my parents loved, they're both not here, they both loved cooking and it was all about How many people could you get around it? Ten. Right, so who, to flip this back, who would you have around that table, like to really get, like could it be a weekly or monthly event? Yeah, we've got a big kitchen. What would it look like for you to do this? Oh, it's just fun. Yeah. And there's nothing like, and I think the thing that comes to mind is the resistance to, that people will have to what we're saying, the resistance to getting in the kitchen and starting to cook. the resistance to turning off your phone, because the phone is the biggest, I think it's the biggest part of the resistance because it's isolating. We think of it as a way of connecting, and it is a great way, but we have to recognize where our time and energy is going. And I can't thank you enough for your time and energy today. We'll put all the links in there. I'd love to help you, as I said, and support you. Any final words you want to say before we end the program? Yeah, two... Two things as quickly as I can. One is just as you're talking about cooking, resistance to cooking, I learned last week that in 1960, the average American family, for every $2 spent on groceries, food, $1 was spent on healthcare. And this is like, and knowing that the UK's becoming more, maybe a lot of it's becoming, you're following. Now, so $2 groceries, $1 healthcare. Now, for every $1 spent on groceries, $4 is spent on healthcare. Right, people say they can't afford to eat well or don't have time, look at the cost. It's hard for us to do because we're so in the moment. So maybe the world needs the long table to help us do it. Like, do it together, but like, we know this, there's such a cost to like ignoring the fact that for every $1, four will be spent on trying to stay well or, you know, and. or getting better and food has so much potential locked up into just and the trick really is to enjoy it. So I just want to finish. That's one bit. The final thing, if you'll allow me is of course just to do reminded by the teaspoon. I'd like to finish with a prayer of sorts. I would like to say thank you because I feel like I've shared so much enthusiasm and I've so enjoyed this process and your attentiveness and great questions. I want to say massive thank you to you and for all that you do. I love you. your content. I love it that we go back in a weird digital way for such a long time. And it makes me hopeful for what's to come as we may journey together and eat together. I want to thank Anna for recognising what me being alive can look like and invited me to step out of the boat and to pursue this path. It's come a real cost. We paid the cost of that. It's been really... tricky, but we've stuck together. And I'm just really thankful to Anna for being such a great, my number one companion. Yeah. To the kids who look on wildly and think, what the heck is going on? What is dad up to? I'm grateful for them. To my family for being around this. I'm really thankful for everyone that eats here, the team that make it happen. And especially to the friends of The Long Table for their five pound a week commitment helps us be braver. Like we can afford to do things that maybe otherwise, it would just, you know, pioneering something new is full of risk. They help make us feel brave. I don't get to say this often enough. I'm really grateful for that. So there's some thank yous. And thank you. So I'm sorry if any of this has caused anyone to stumble in their ideas of who I am or what food might be. I hope that people would be, you know, generous. If you... quit your job and pursue something and find that is really hard. I've met some people since that have like gone on to become a baker and so sorry in advance if it gets really difficult. But I think, but yeah. And then finally, the please would just be we've said what people can do. Please do it. Do it. Live intentionally and know that awesome and amazing things happen when we eat together. I don't think we could go. I think we've said everything. I think leaving it on that note is absolutely epic. Thank you so, so much. Let's go and eat because the food finishes in 10 minutes. We're joking. Yeah. Is that right? Absolutely. Thank you.


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