Crumb Brothers Artisan Bread is taking bread to a new level the Old World way
Published: Wednesday, January 12, 2005
Updated: Monday, August 9, 2010 14:08
Baking bread is an art form and for local business owner, Bill Oblock, it is what he loves to do.
Crumb Brothers Artisan Breads opened its doors in March 2004 to the Cache Valley community. Started by three friends, Josh Archibald, John Reichert and Oblock, were committed to creating a superb hand-crafted bread.
"In the mid 90s I got a sense of what was going on. There was a artisan bread movement happening," Oblock, owner of Crumb Brothers, said. "There really wasn't any good artisan bread in Utah. I liked the idea and that is when the idea germinated in my mind."
Oblock isn't new to the food industry, having been involved with restaurants for more than 20 years. Before opening Crumb Brothers, he owned the Grapevine restaurant which was in Logan.
"When you go to cooking school, you learn how to cook. It is a long process. Baking is somewhat of the same thing," Oblock said.
The bakery currently bakes around a third of what Oblock would like. He says he eventually plans to bake around 3,000 loaves a day.
"Three thousand loaves a day isn't much for a bakery, but when you get past that, you get more into the industrial side of it," Oblock said. "You loose the hands-on approach and personal aspect."
The hardest part for Oblock is getting others to realize how good the bread is, because they have to try it to understand. Artisan bread is made completely hands on.
"I would hope for people to really notice and understand it. A lot of people really don't understand the bread," Oblock said. "By eating the bread, they will understand it."
He feels that many people think of it as being upscale, high society bread.
"From the peasants to the working class to the royalty, it breaks all the barriers," Oblock said. "Bread is bread."
Crumb Brothers sells out of all the bread it makes daily and they ships bread to Salt Lake City to the Salt Lake City Farmers Market in the summer. It has also sold bread at the Cache Valley Farmers Market on Saturdays in Logan.
"We distribute to about 20 businesses - mainly restaurants and small markets. Seven or eight are located in the valley," Oblock said. "The wholesale business will grow as much as I can make it grow."
Their bread is supplied to the Logan Italian restaurant Le Nonne Ristorante.
"It is the closest thing to the traditional Italian breads," Le Nonne owner and chef Pier Antonio Micheli said. "Actually, it is exactly the same."
Crumb Brothers also supplies the pizza dough for the Le Nonne's new branch, Le Nonne Pizzeria.
The pizza dough is a different sort of dough, Micheli said. It is made with wheat flour and is lighter dough which is less fatty and has a different flavor than other forms of dough.
"[The] dough is totally different than others. Their dough gives our pizzas a nice crispy texture," Micheli said.
Before Micheli moved his restaurant from Logan's Main Street to 100 East, bakers Archibald and Reichert made bread for him. They used to bake the bread out of the Grapevine building which is now the location of Le Nonne.
"They made bread for me long before Crumb Brothers opened," Micheli said.
Le Nonne has chosen to stick with the bread artists due to their consistency. Their product stays the same, Micheli said.
"Our customers love the bread. It works with what we serve," he said.
With success for the bread in both wholesale and retail, the bakery has had to do a little bit of expanding.
The building which is located at 291 S. and 300 West, only sells bread from a little window to customers.
"Right now, you just walk up to the window and sometimes that isn't that easy. It makes it hard for some to get the right bread for what they need or want," Oblock said.
With the opening of the new retail portion of the bakery, it will allow for more education to take place with the customers. Education about the bread is one of the most important things, Oblock said.
"I am going to have fish today, and I know that a rye bread goes really well with a fish more than a sourdough," Oblock said. "There is a lot of participation in what you are eating that determines what bread to get. This is what we want to help people with."
Within 10 years down the road Oblock sees their bread in most restaurants that are committed to excellence. He would like to see people pick up a loaf of bread everyday to compliment their meals. Oblock says that the business has been very fulfilling so far. The customer's are the ones that help complete the process, he said.
"When you see people, especially ones who haven't been around and had this bread before, to see their response about eating something that tastes really good. That is fulfilling."