If you’ve tried Bread Alone’s whole wheat sourdough bread (or any of their other breads we carry, for that matter!), you know they’re doing something exceptional at this Upstate NY bread company. Made using old-fashioned methods, their breads contain little more than organic stone ground flours, water, organic grains and sea salt. The result is simple, wholesome, local, organic bread that makes you rethink every other bread you’ve ever had.
RT: Who are the people behind Bread Alone?
BA: Bread Alone was founded in 1983 by Dan Leader and remains a family business to this day. Dan’s partner Sharon came on board in the early years and his son Nels joined in 2012. Together they comprise the heart of the company, however there over 200 people that help get this ship to sail every day. From production to distribution to customer service, every employee is considered a member of this extended family.
RT: What was the impetus behind the creation of the company? In other words…why bread?
BA: Dan was deeply entrenched in NYC’s bustling culinary world, and at the time (think early 80s) French cuisine was the standard for fine dining. This took him to Europe where he fell in love with the craft of artisan bread-making. After too many hours spent in crowded city kitchens, he packed up his family and moved them to the Catskills for a better quality of life, and to bake bread where no one had baked bread before: sleepy Boiceville, NY.
RT: What makes Bread Alone different from other artisan breads?
BA: Most of our breads are certified organic, and those that aren’t are made using certified organic grains. We feel strongly that organic grains are the best choice for our planet, farmworkers, gut, and taste buds. We also offer a robust selection of sourdough breads, all made my hand.
RT: How important is it for you to source ingredients locally? Why/why not?
BA: Supporting our community is imperative. This was built into our mission from the very beginning with the choice to source organic. Today we maintain deep commitments to our local mills both within NY state and beyond our borders. We source our fresh seasonal fruit and produce and milk from local farms. This ethos also extends to our cafes where we have relationships with local vendors across the menu, from our tea and coffee to our bacon.
RT: What’s one fun thing most people don’t know about Bread Alone?
BA: We have 664 solr panels on the roof of our main bakery in Lake Katrine! The 194kw solar array went live on Earth Day 2018 and provides around 25% of our energy needs. We consider this just the beginning; we plan to source our energy from 100% renewable sources by 2030.
RT: What’s the latest from Bread Alone? Anything new in the pipeline?
BA: We have a new line of Nordic-inspired sourdough breads, baked out of our original bakery in Boiceville. Thes nutritionally dense breads are packed with flavor and are offered in three varieties: 100% Rye, Einkorn, and Fruit & Seed.
RT: When you’re not noshing on delicious homemade bread… What are you loving to eat right now? What are your go-tos (snacks, drinks, wellness products, or other)?
BA: We’re thankful that the temperature has finally caught up with the season – we’re loving fresh fall apples. A sweet honeycrisp gets us through that afternoon slump!
RT: What’s your favorite recipe to make using Bread Alone bread?
BA: We’re purists – nothing beats a slice of our Einkorn Nordic bread toasted and slathered with a healthy dose of cultured butter.
RT: What is your favorite bread(s) for the holidays?
BA: Our sourdough panettone – moist, slightly citrus, and with just enough chocolate chips.
RT: What has it been like to be a “local” food business in New York State?
BA: It’s been an honor! We’re surrounded by an incredible community, and we couldn’t imagine baking our bread and living our lives anywhere else.