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Bread Rises at the Hearth of Community

Here at Going With The Grain we do have a slogan/catchphrase/tagline, whatever you want to call it...we do, look, its on our business cards! It took months of mulling to distill our vision, beliefs and values into one line. It was not easy, it did not hit like a bolt from above. But one day, there it was. The original word was 'heart'. Fortunately something prompted me to add the final 'h', and there it was--- a compact set of words to encompass our vision, beliefs and values.

Baking real, honest, organic,authentic bread is what we DO---but there is so much circling around those loaves, and so many people and processes involved in providing people with sustenance that the physical baking part is not the most important.

A long, long time ago people understood that bread involves seeds and grain and farmers and millers and bakers and a big hearth. They knew the farmer, they knew the miller and the baker, or perhaps they baked their own breads during the weekly communal bake at the village oven. Frequently a community baked together at the village hearth, dividing up the baked loaves, not caring who had baked which loaf. Bread rose at the hearth of community.

I am interested in promoting what is important about bread; first of all, a revival of authentic bread that truly sustains the health of my neighbors. Second, to unearth and explore the regional network of farmers, millers, transporters and distributors that supports an economy of local bread production. Third, a vision for this bakery is for it to serve as a place of community-building and service. We can do more than bake bread here. And so we will teach people to make bread, and we will meet the grain farmers and millers. We will have parties and we will offer opportunities for service. We will watch films and we will read books. We will bake and share bread at our big modern 'hearth'.

Its a big vision, but when I think about everything that touches and is touched by bread I am almost overwhelmed because, it comes down to this--who or what isn't touched by bread? Its a really big Venn diagram.

I think we'll have fun creating that diagram on the bakery wall sometime!

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