a year and a half ago i wandered into Mission Pie, having heard wonderful things about their pie, the way they ran their business, and their oven.
first i met with Krystin, one of the owners. i told her about what i’d been doing – baking bread at home, and selling it directly to people through my Community Supported Bread program. i was wondering if maybe i could start baking my bread at Mission Pie, and distribute it around the city on my bike. she liked the idea of a CSB, but wasn’t super keen on the idea of me coming in, baking a bunch of bread, and then taking all of it away. furthermore, it wasn’t something she, or her partner Karen, had ever done at Mission Pie, nor were they eager to start – renting time and space to someone who, while being very passionate, didn’t have much of an idea about what they were doing.
but a couple weeks later i swung back through with another loaf of bread, and this time sat down with the both of them, and we were able to come up with a nice idea – i could try baking there one day a week, as long as: 1) i brought all of my supplies with me when i showed up, 2) took them away when i was done, and 3) baked a handful of loaves to sell to Mission Pie’s walk-in customers.
amazing!!! now i just needed to figure out how to use that oven…
so i just started doing it. i’d bring in all of my stuff in a backpack and some buckets: flour, seeds, proofing baskets, tiny digital scale. this was my only choice as i was still baking at home and at Pizzaiolo on other days, so i had to bring my stuff with me wherever i went.
after a month of this, i asked if i could maybe have a tiny space in the basement to leave some stuff between my bakes. Karen and Krystin kindly obliged, and let me start using a broken refrigerator as my storage unit.
things were going great at one day a week, so i asked if we could bump it up to two days a week. again, Karen and Krystin generously obliged.
and people kept buying the bread! i started out baking 35 or 40 loaves, and this just steadily increased… these days i bake about 130 loaves a day.
back then i was still buying all of my flour myself, driving up to Petaluma and filling up my car with 600 lbs at a time, and storing it in my bedroom. one day i inquired, “maybe i could get my flour delivered right to the bakery.” again, they said yes.
and this is the way it went for the next year –
“is it okay to leave my dough in the fridge overnight?”
“can i invite someone else in to help me shape loaves?”
“could i bake a little earlier in the day?”
“would you mind helping me carry this 100-pound rack up the stairs?”
they always said yes.
because of this totally supportive awesomeness, i’ve grown to the point where i really need my own space.
so on June 14, my time at Mission Pie comes to close. after this there will be a bread hiatus for a wee bit while we finish building out The Mill. so come get some bread at Mission Pie before then, if you’re in the mood.
if ya wanna keep getting bread at Mission Pie, i’m actually going to deliver bread there once a week once i’m up and running out of The Mill. just sign up for a subscription here, and i’ll bike it right to ya, every week.
so let me just say it loud and clear – THANK YOU MISSION PIE. i would’ve never been able to do this without your generosity, your wisdom, your full-on radical ways. if there was a Josey Baker Bread Hall of Fame, you would be at the top of it.
catch ya soon sweeties