Monday, May 18, 2009

What's a bakery?

Just when I didn't expect it, we had more customers in our store yesterday than we did on Mother's day. Thank you.

Yesterday morning, I arrived at the bakery feeling like a prize fighter the morning after. A little blurry/groggy from Saturday's opening of our farmer's markets. The first day is always the worst. It's funny how fast you can forget what became the "rules" last summer. We set sales record numbers at the Green City market on Saturday. Things will only improve there, as there isn't much produce out yet. This summer, we are one of two bakeries at that market. I understand we had folks cued up all morning long. A true testimony that people are hungry for "real" baked goods. It's not my place to promote other bakeries here, but there are a number of high quality, retail bakers in Chicago and the suburbs. I'm not talking about dopey places that make cup cakes, either. I'm not referring to places that only make wedding cakes. I'm talking about bakeries, old fashioned bakeries. Where a few lights are on at night, and the floor is covered with flour. Where flour, water, salt and yeast are stirred together and manipulated into something that is nourishing to your body and soul. Where you can buy a DONUT. You know the the type of place. I know they are some times out of the way, but always worth the effort.

I'm in our office in the bakery basement. I can hear racks rolling overhead, and I can hear the elevator being loaded with more incoming ingredients. Gotta go check on that, I only accept flour that is fourteen days old. Bet they aren't that cautious in a grocery store bakery.


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