A corporate space with a community feel for GAIL’s bakery

Beyond Bread: GAIL's customised bakery design

Neighbourhood bakery, GAIL’s, faced the challenge of expanding its business while maintaining its philosophy of a welcoming and community-orientated atmosphere.
As the company grew, it needed a centralised head office that could serve as a hub for its diverse teams and support various functions, including staff training, meeting space and collaborative teamwork. The challenge was to create a corporate space that still felt like a home for its workforce and aligned with the brand’s community ethos and identity. AJ Products was one of the suppliers that helped the business find the right solution for their needs.
GAIL's bakery sign

Company Overview 

The bakery was started by Yael (Gail) Mejia in the early 1990s, supplying bread and baked goods to top chefs and food venues. In 2003, Tom Molnar and some friends joined Yael’s bakery and moved all the baking under one roof in Hendon, north London, providing a better workplace and ensuring top standards of food safety. In 2005, GAIL’s opened its first high-street bakery in Hampstead, bringing its chef-quality craft baking and principles to a wider audience. Today GAIL’s has grown to over 126 sites, expanding outside of London to locations including Cambridge, Oxford, Brighton and, most recently, Manchester whilst still celebrating the individuality of each neighbourhood bakery. 


As GAIL’s expanded, it faced the challenge of needing a centralised head office that could accommodate its growing workforce and serve as a commercial headquarters for all team collaborations. The dispersed and individual nature of its facilities, offices and bakeries required a strategic approach to consolidate its operations whilst preserving the brand’s local community identity.  
A big driver for GAIL’s was that we didn’t want a corporate feel to our headquarters. We were looking for a home from home, somewhere where our teams feel welcomed
Michelle Pollard-Smith, Head of Property at GAIL’s
GAIL's bakery entrance at HQ


  • Establish a centralised head office that fosters a sense of community among diverse teams. 
  • Create a space that aligns with GAIL’s brand identity and values. 
  • Provide functional areas for training, meetings and collaborative work. 
  • Ensure the design reflects the neighbourly warmth and uniqueness of each GAIL’s location. 
Finding a company like AJ Products was a massive win for us.
Michelle Pollard-Smith, Head of Property at GAIL’s


GAIL’s Bakery approached the challenge by working directly with individual suppliers. This original approach allowed them to find the best solution for each area rather than a centralised generic approach to renovating the new headquarters.  Over the years, GAIL’s had become aware of AJ Products at various key events and were impressed by their wide variety and quality of products, as well as their knowledge of ergonomic solutions, which GAIL’s knew to be crucial for creating a comfortable and productive work environment. 
Michelle Pollard-Smith mentioned that whenever they requested assistance from AJ Products, the company consistently provided a solution.
To ensure a hygienic and efficient training environment in their primary training site, GAIL’s needed lockers that not only effectively stored the diverse belongings of staff arriving for training, but also suited the inviting atmosphere of the workspace.  
AJ Products provided lockers from their new QBUS range along with comfy bench seats that feature integrated drawers. Together, these options not only addressed GAIL’s everyday storage needs but also contributed to the overall aesthetic of the building, enhancing the inclusive sense of community. 
As highlighted by GAIL's head of property, "AJ Products were never trying to fit us into a one-size mould; they were always open to conversation. There was a great flexibility to their service".

A sneak peek Inside GAIL's Bakery

Gail's bakery staircase at HQ entrance
Some of the work done by AJ for GAIL's bakery design
Some of the work done by AJ for GAIL's bakery design
Some of the work done by AJ for GAIL's bakery design
Some of the work done by AJ for GAIL's bakery design
Some of the work done by AJ for GAIL's bakery design


The result is a head office that meets functional requirements but also embodies the warmth, homeliness, and community spirit of each unique GAIL’s neighbourhood bakery.   
The benefits the project has brought to the business include: 

  • Strengthening internal relationships among teams. 
  • Enhancing the company’s approachable brand identity in a corporate setting. 
  • Improving efficiency through meticulous design layouts that prioritise team wellbeing. 
  • Promoting sustainable practices in design and functionality.

As reported, there is now a space where people can drop by, and the community they intended to reinforce within internal teams has been successfully built, mirroring the approach taken within their bakeries.


GAIL’s journey to establish a centralised head office reflects its commitment to preserving its brand values while adapting to growth.  By collaborating with quality suppliers like AJ Products, GAIL’s has achieved a tailored solution to meet its unique needs. GAIL’s utilised AJ Products knowledge and understanding of their key objectives to help them  
successfully navigate the challenge they faced. The resulting head office serves as a welcoming home for its diverse team, fostering collaboration, community and a shared sense of belonging, all the while embodying the same warmth and character found in their neighbourhood bakeries. 
The head of property at GAIL’s, expressed that AJ Products, with their expertise in the field, consistently proposed ways to guarantee that the new space maintained its identity and personal feel.

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