Monday, November 08, 2010

A Rye in the Wilderness

One of the joys of building up my own baking business and selling through Local Roots has been making all sorts of professional contacts, including with suppliers.

Probably my most faithful go-to supplier is the Grain Guy, who technically is the driver for the grain raisers, who are Amish. At this point, I call him almost every other week to order 25 pounds of this or that, or to stock up on some of the specialty flours I use less.

The Grain Guy has supported my business in another way, too: during the summer he occasionally requested a few of my breads to take to his farmers' markets to sell alongside the grains, as a way to show customers how to use the grains and how good they taste. It's a small addition to my business, but a good one, and it illustrates how much we're trying to support each other in general at Local Roots.

At last week's market, I ran into the Grain Guy, who raved about my pumpernickel bread, so I suggested he try my new rye crackers, which have similar flavor. He called me later in the afternoon to tell me they were "awesome" and to place an order for fifteen bags of them. Why? He planned on heading to the big food expo in Cleveland this weekend and wanted -- again -- to show samples of how the grains could be used.

Pretty exciting stuff for a small-time, small-town baker in the first year of business!

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