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Happy New Year from Orange Boot Bakery

Hello Bread Lovers! Happy New Year everyone. We hope you are all having a wonderful holiday season. December has been a very busy and exciting month for us and it was nice to take a few days off to relax and have fun as a family. We're getting ready to start baking again and we'll have a 'bread order' email shortly. This isn't it, though. There have been several inquiries about what we've been up to so this email is a summary of the events of the past couple weeks...

The Bakery #

We spent most of December attempting to purchase the existing bakery in the River Heights mall on Regina Ave and Montague St. Pretty much did it too, but on December 18 we finally decided to hold off for now.

The space was larger than we needed, the equipment much older than we'd like and the layout is pretty awkward too. The good news is we had a really good meeting with the mall landlord and will work together to design an appropriate space in the mall over the next 18 months or so.

We're both excited about the type of bakery we want to build. In the meantime, however, we're still looking for some rental space (hopefully with equipment) so we can continue to bake 1-2 days a week for all of you. We have pretty much maxxed out what we can do in the house while still preserving our sanity, so if any of you know of a commercial kitchen we can rent by the hour, please let us know!

The Bread #

The last four months have been a lot of fun as we've worked to figure out how to scale up our baking, manage the brick oven and expand on the types of breads we offer. We learned a couple really good things:

  1. 60 loaves per baking day is a good number when baking out of the house. We did 75 on December 1 and that was hard, and the 155 we did on December 14 pushed us (mixer, oven, Mark and Cindy) to the limit. So the solution is to expand to a bigger space (with bigger equipment), bake two days per week, or change my mixing technique. We're open to ideas here -- please let us know if something 'obvious' comes to mind.

  2. Bread pans are damaging the brick oven. We were disappointed to learn that the heavy pans we're using for our multigrain and birdseed bread are causing the firebrick hearth to deteriorate. Lots of scoring on the bricks from sliding the pans in and out of the oven. So we will no longer be offering pan breads (aka 'sandwich loaves') and will be investing in proofing baskets so you can still get nice high loaves for your morning toast. We started experimenting with the baskets in December and are pleased with the results. We think you will be pleased as well.

At every step on this adventure we've been obsessive about how to provide the very best experience for each and every one of you. What new breads do you want to see? How can we make ordering easier? Can we improve how the bread is packaged or delivered?

You are our 'A-team' and we rely on your comments to make the bread and the bakery the best you've ever experienced. We're thrilled that you are part of this -- please keep the comments and suggestions coming!

Happy New Year everyone. We look forward to seeing you again in January!

Mark, Cindy, Ben and Robyn