Nashoba Brook Bakery & Café: nourishing a community, one handcrafted loaf at a time
5000 loaves a day. All touched by hand. 13 bakers dedicated to the artisan origins of their craft. Tradition, sustainability and community, that is Nashoba Brook Bakery. Owners Stuart Witt and John Gates baked their first loaves for the Concord community on September 11, 1998 and their continued dedication to the community has ensured that, almost 13 years later, the Nashoba Brook Cafe & Bakery has become an integral part of the Concord commnity whom they’ve grown up alongside.
From the small cafe & bakery in 1998, to a thriving wholesale business with 150 accounts, 90% of them located within Massachusetts, Nashoba Brook is truly a homegrown success story. The sheer volume produced on a daily basis makes local ingredient sourcing difficult, however, it was important to Stu that the grapes used to make their sourdough starter are grown locally. It’s these wild Concord grapes that help create the slow rise process, requiring nearly 24 hours for each loaf to make it from mixing bowl to cooling rack. This long development makes their breads unique by enhancing the nutritional value of the bread and making it easier to digest. It also provides the outstanding flavor and texture that makes residents crowd the cafe each weekday for the best sandwiches in town. On their way out, many residents can’t resist grabbing a few loaves to go.
Since Nashoba’s inception, they’ve created a business culture based upon responsibility, adopting many sustainable choices in their production, retail, and distribution processes. Aside from site wide recycling standards throughout the bakery, cafe & offices, the bags their bread is packaged in is recyclable and they reuse most of the 50# flour bags used for distributing bread orders. Now they are working with Concord Municipal Light to upgrade their bakery lighting to a more energy efficient system. Their proactive approach to environmental stewardship has added to the deep community respect & support for Nashoba Brook.
This community support is not taken for granted. Kyle Meekins, Nashoba Brook’s Account Manager, told me that to date, in 2012, they have donated to over 50 local charitable events and auctions, not including their participation with the Open Table Organization and other local food charities whom they donate unused bread to on a daily basis. They are so committed to the community that they donate bread and bread gift certificates to any local organization that requests it.
It is this commitment that inspired Nashoba Brook to get involved with this year’s Link Net on Sunday October 7th on the Rose Kennedy Greenway in Boston. When I asked WHY they wanted to be involved, Kyle stated quite simply, “ We are a local business and participate and support all things local.” Be sure to taste some of the hand crafted breads they will be bringing with them to the festival and if you can pry Kyle away from the restaurant tastings and chef demos, be sure to say hello!
Learn more about the benefits of Nashoba Brook’s Slow Rise Bread here.
This post was written by Michele J Martin of Table of Two, go check her out!