{Interview} Community Support Bakery with All Good Bakers

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I first read about All Good Bakers’ entrance into the Community-Supported-World from a brief Table Hopping blog post a few weeks back. At that time they were in their “market research” phase of starting the area’s first Community Supported Bakery. They had a questionnaire for interested parties to fill out..so biz savvy LOVE it!

I live in Ballston Spa and can’t get to the Delmar Farmers Market on Saturdays, about a 45 minute drive, so I was not familiar with their line of products. I immediately went into my usual research mode. Email address- check! Facebook page- woot! Delmar Market info page– high five! I gathered what information I could from these sources and reported on their progress in two {Weekend} Reading posts. In addition, I wrote an email asking if they did any allergy-free baking, free from not cross-contaminated with nuts, dairy and soy and gluten-free, as I would love to support their mission and join. Sadly, no. (I totally understand. Why would a start-up even want to deal with the gluten-free or allergy cross contamination issues -yikes)


As a champion of local farmers and value-added food purveyors, I was not dismayed by their lack-o-Miles-friendly-baked-products…no no no…I was excited to share their business with the FSC community. “If ya can’t join them, but believe in the business model then tell as many people as you can” is my thinking. I am 100% in love with my summer CSA share by Denison Farm. I have 100% faith that I will love my fall share with Kilpatrick Family Farm. Why not have a CSB? A route where you can invest in a local business AND get a loaf of bread or various baked goods, weekly, made just for YOU, by hand, with local & quality ingredients, with care. Wow.

In addition, on a practical level, I know from experience at the Saratoga Farmers Market that baked goods purveyors run sell out hours into the market. This can be a problem if you shop the farmers markets like you would a grocery store, which I do. This happens with eggs…I have to sprint to the market every Saturday before 10:30am to guarantee that 1-2 dozen beauties will be mine. To have a guaranteed set of grocery items for your week is priceless. And convenient.

So the moment I started a dialogue with Britin & Nick, the couple behind All Good Bakers, I wanted to interview them to get the low-down. Getting the low-down is easier said than done, we live 45 minutes apart and I don’t have a regular babysitter. Sooooo I cobbled together reasons for a “visit” to Albany so my mom would take Miles; “oh time for an oil change at the dealership (Woot!) and a trip to Honest Weight” SOLD!  I packed up my laptop and Iphone and my oil change certificate and off I went to Orange Motors, Honest Weight and most importantly…..All Good Bakers!

I arrived at All Good HQ on a Friday, the “big bake day” for Saturday’s market in Delmar, to meet the most warm and friendly family. They were smack-dab in the middle of the basking push and they still seemed relaxed, welcoming and excited to share their story. Their beautiful young daughter was happily playing in the living room during the quick introduction and then I was off to the heart of the operation, their kitchen. There, on the dining table, I was given a special surprise treat, a sample size of their vegan cinnamon roll. A dome-shaped piece of love. I’m not a fan of cinnamon rolls, as I always find them too sugary sweet but this one was soft and chewy cake with just the right amount of cinnamon and frosting without that overwhelming coating of sugar you get in your mouth after taking a bit of a not-so-apetizing-cinnamon-bun. A nice balance of flava’- yum.

I sat at their kitchen table and picked away at the bun-o-love while Nick worked away and Britin weaved stories  explaining the how when why and who. Britin and Nick met years ago in Santa Monica, California and lived in different cities on the east and west coast including a time in Britin’s home state of North Carolina. They ended up getting married, having their daughter and moving to Albany to be near Nick’s family. With no formal training, but years of hands-on training at various catering, restaurant and farmers market positions and a childhood filled with learning the basics from his grandmother, Nick started his local professional baker life as the head baker at Honest Weight Food Co-op a few years back. Nick is still on staff at HWFC, but as a family who were striving for self-sufficiency and to contribute to the communities’ locavore movement in a meaningful way, they decided to create a line of organic, locally sourced baked goods. So began All Good Bakers at the Delmar Farmers Market on Saturdays. Britin and Nick strive for perfect products so over time they had their loyal farm stand supporters, family and friends test their products, like their very popular croissants and bialys, until they were perfect. Now their market stand is one of the most popular and their products are loved by a devoted following. In addition they have a strong sense of community and a no-waste committment, they barter with other farms for eggs, meats, produce and milk to feed themselves and donate the left-over of Saturday’s inventory (if there is any!) to local food pantries. NOTHING is wasted. This standard will continue with the CSB as all shares left after 7pm at both pickup locations will be immediately donated.

Britin continued on their journey… how did the Community Supported Bakery idea come into fruition? Due to an unfortunate injury a number of months back, she was forced to rest and started doing research on how to take the business to the next step. Retail space? Adding a wholesale component? (Local restaurants have started requesting samples- yeah!) Community Supported Bakery- yeees indeed. So Britin went into research mode, especially since there’s only 68 other CBS in the country; business model, logistics such as rental kitchen space, health department permits, securing pick-up locations, kitchen equipment, larger-quantities local ingredients and share price, item list. I must admit that as a past business owner, I felt some vicarious stress while I listened to Britin explain the long and tedious to-do list that is required for a food business. To their credit, Nick & Britin seemed focused, saavy, smart, driven and determined to move forward. Bravo! After a few false starts, their first priority was secured, a rental kitchen on Quail Street, owned by Mark Guido of Guido’s Frozen Desserts, will be their new baking location. At the time of the interview, permit paperwork was being completed and kitchen walk-through was scheduled. As for the ingredients, the eggs, buttermilk, butter, milk, honey and maple syrup are being sourced locally. Britin says they are having issues sourcing local flour, I would image the NYS grain business left decades ago and is only starting to be revived. For now flour will remaining certified organic but not local. Sugar is fair-trade and organic, salt is kosher, and baking powder is aluminum-free. In recent Facebook posts, Britin & Nick shared that they have secured important kitchen equipment. In essence, they will be ready to roll by the CSB start in November! Amazing. A testament to the human spirit.

There is so much to say but let me get to the nitty-gritty because sign-up deadline is OCTOBER 24th. The share will run for 26 weeks from November 3, 2010 to April 27, 2011. An individual can choose between three tracks- 1, 2 or 3 items per week. 1 item a week=$6/week, 2 items=$12/week, and 3 items=$18/week. A unit can be 1 artisian loaf OR a selection from their baked goods (such as 4 bialys or 3 croissants or 2 seasonal scones, ect). Unlike many CSAs, a share owner will be able to choose what they want each week ahead of time, including a combination “Baker’s Pick” or a “Baker’s Pick Specialty”. There are many items to choose from including mutigrain, rustic italian, spelt and rye loaves. Baker’s Pick Specialty includes roasted garlic, sesame semolina, multigrain dill, rosemary olive oil loaves. As for baked goods there are bialys, croissants, seasonal muffins and scones, vegan cinnamon buns. There are also additional items for special order for parties or holidays.  Britin & Nick have decided to start slow so they are offering two pick-up locations Albany & Delmar; The Women’s Building of Albany on Central Avenue and Delmar Reform Church on Delaware Avenue. They are striving for 150 families to subscribe.

If the market stand and the CSB wasn’t enough work for the couple, All Good Bakers teamed up with Java Jazz Cafe and Town Peddler to offer Dinner-By-Bike a “Community Supported Cafe”. A 3-course meal, in varying quantities depending on family size, DELIVERED to each share member on Wednesdays through December 15th. You can still sign up, find all the details at Town Peddler’s FAQ’s page. Don’t get me started on this idea, sooo awesome. Again, if the food could be allergen-free, and I lived in Delmar, I would sign-up in a second.

If you want information on the Community Supported Bakery, email Britin, allgoodbakers@gmail.com, and she will email you a very helpful and clearly written info-filled 5-pages document. Follow their progress and latest news on Facebook.

NOTE: Since my initial interview with Britin & Nick they have been featured on a TON of local food blogs as they invited many of them to sample their products at a past market. I’m into sharing the blog-love so here’s links to their reviews. CapitalDistrictFun Albany Eats Fussylittleblog

I wish All Good Bakers a successful first Community Supported Bakery Season!

Bake on!

Since you’ve stayed until the end of this wordy blog post, as a thank you, All Good Bakers are offering a small giveaway to one of our readers, a sampling of their goodies at their market stand this Saturday.

Post a comment below (or on our corresponding link on our Facebook page) by noon tomorrow (Friday, October 15th) and I will pick a name out of a hat (no random.org for this one).

Your comment can contain anything you’d like to say to us or All Good Bakers.

You must be able to get to the Delmar Farmers Market this Saturday, 9am-1pm, for pick-up.
No delivery, no rescheduling.

Plus you get to meet Britin & Nick- how fun! They are good people.

 

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13 Comments Add yours

  1. Laura says:

    I’m at the Delmar market every Saturday – LOVE IT!!! Haven’t tried All Good yet as everything is sooooo decadent looking but I think I could be easily convinced!

  2. All Good Bakers says:

    It’ll be a little colder on Saturday, but we hope you will all come visit us from 9-1 at the Delmar Market (Bethlehem Middle School, Kenwood Ave.) to have a taste of our baked goods & meet over 40 other great local producers! We’ll have lots of Bread, Buns and other tasty treats for you. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have about us, feel free to contact us anytime.

    The Delmar Market will be inside the school November – December 15. There are lots of local crafters during the colder months, and a warm & friendly atmosphere.

    Hope to see you there!

  3. Alban says:

    See you at the market on Saturday!

  4. Rebecca says:

    looking forward to tasting some of what we will be getting from the CSB – at the Farmer’s Market on Saturday!

  5. jimr says:

    So the essence of of the “community supported” model for this place is that the community gets to pay for 6 months of goods upfront?

    1. Christina says:

      Hey Jim R, Christina here. I wanted to add to Britin’s comment on the subject. All Good Baker’s model is no different from what many farms in our area participate in, Community Supported Agriculture. I belong to a summer CSA with Denison Farm and a fall and winter shares with Kilpatrick Family Farm (link on right column) and with both farms an individual/family/couple buys the entire season’s share upfront. For example, for a summer share you sign up in January and start paying the installments or one-time payment at sign-up. You don’t get produce until summer season.

      Local Harvest, a great website where you can find local farmers markets, CSA’s, Co-ops and more has a great brief summary of this model and the benefits for the farmer (in this specific case, a small bakery business).

      http://www.localharvest.org/csa/

      Thank you for reading the post and for posting a comment!
      Christina

  6. Britin says:

    Hi Jimr, just like those who choose to support local farmers via a CSA, our members will be supporting local agriculture, developing a relationship directly with the producer of food they consume and fostering community relationships. We are using primarily local and organic agricultural products and supporting us in advance gives a shareholder (among other things) the opportunity to invest in bakers they trust to use ingredients that align with their own purchasing values.

    We believe it’s important to involve the community in our endeavor and are looking for ways to benefit those who don’t always have affordable access to healthy breads – we will be soliciting our shareholder’s opinions on ways to forward this goal. For now, we are donating shares that don’t get picked up for whatever reason to local food banks, and we have/are participating in fundraisers to benefit various causes in Albany.

  7. All Good Bakers says:

    We’ve got 41 shares sold as of the deadline! We need at least 100 to make our kitchen rental viable. We are going to start accepting applications for the CSB on a rolling, pro-rated basis until we hit our mark. If you missed the deadline, you can still join! Just deduct the weeks you’ve missed and get your order form in at least a week in advance so that we can have the proper materials on hand.

    The Delmar Market starts its indoor winter run this Saturday, Oct. 30 – Dec. 15 (Bethlehem Middle School Cafeteria) – there will be lots of local crafters, fall/winter vegetables, grass-fed meat & a warm and friendly atmosphere. Only one of 3 Saturday indoor winter markets close to Albany!

    AGB won’t be there Oct. 30, but we’ll be back in full force the first weekend of Nov. We’ll be baking from our new kitchen space and will have more breads for you to choose from! Hope to see you there.

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