Since 2016, I have milled our whole-grains in some capacity. Whether just the rye by hand when we started, or the red fife for a unique special bake, up to most recently when I was milling all our whole-grains for the wheat and rye based breads on a daily basis. That meant, at any given time the loaves on the shelf were using our own fresh milled grains and getting us closer to our optimal product we were striving to achieve.
Sadly, our mill we were using ended up biting the dust after two years in our current location of constantly daily use. I had mixed feelings on it, as it was adding even more time to my nights because of how small it was making the quantity that could be milled at one given time an issue, thus creating a longer night trying to mill everything needed for the next day’s baking. As the bakery grew, so did the need for more flour and the bottleneck I was facing just wasn't working anymore anyways.
On the other hand though, milling allowed me to have the freshest flour possible, the most nutritious bread I could ask for, and a flavor unparalleled. I was stuck in a hard place between continuing to use the best local grains possible, and drawing the line between being a baker, or a miller.
Maybe we’d just have to leave the mill on the back burner while we build our new downtown location, and perhaps, we could work on that concept again at a later time.
Then as fate would have it, baker buddy Randy George reached out about an opportunity too good to pass. Red Hen Baking was selling a beautiful, custom made 16” stone mill made by hand and encased in southern yellow pine and they needed a good home for it. Alisyn and I couldn’t say yes quick enough to the opportunity to continue our desire for fresh flour, using local grains, and providing an unrivaled product available here in town.
So there it is, being packed up in Vermont a few days after we spoke and now it seems our bakery dream is coming together slowly but surely as all the parts of the puzzle fall into place.
We have a few months ahead of us still to go, but having secured all the equipment has lifted a bit of weight from our shoulders, and it was a relief to know we didn't have to sacrifice some aspects of the operation we enjoyed just to try and make the deadlines and cost of the buildout happen.
It put us at ease as well, as the hopes and dream of the new location has been to 'continue to do what we do, just more of it'. And now, we can mill even more flour, buy even more grains from local farmers and provide even more high quality bread and pastries with the healthiest, freshest flour possible to our community.
We look forward to this new endeavor and the great flavor yet to come.
Well loafers, that is the latest, and we will keep you informed as the days go by.