At the farmers markets in Santa Monica, CA and Union Square, NY, SoCal native Tracy Stoloff discovered a healthier, more nutritious and creative approach to nourishing and feeding her family. It was here that she discovered naturally fermented, wild yeasted bread. Not only did she love the flavor and texture, this fermented sourdough became the vehicle for improving her gut health.
After re-locating to Montauk, she began her journey as a baker, committed to making bread the way it was made centuries ago, with three pure ingredients and lots of time and love. With plenty of trial and error, she created a bread that met her standards for taste and optimum health. Her bread had become a staple of her family’s diet, and she wanted to share it. Today she offers Night Owl True Sourdough throughout the Hamptons and Long Island, in Manhattan, and available to ship nationwide.
RT: What’s the origin of your name?
NOB: The process of feeding my leavens and fermenting the dough takes days, literally, so I decided to call it Night Owl and see how it would do at the local farmer’s markets. The response has been amazing, especially among professionals in the wellness community who appreciate the health benefits, and of course the wildly delicious taste.
RT: What is Night Owl’s mission/philosophy?
NOB: I am dedicated to offering a truly triple fermented true sourdough product. I am committed to the 86-hr fermentation in an effort to obtain a natural wheat bread with the most degraded, hydrolyzed gluten content. This means that the human gut can easily digest the trace gluten that remains. I am committed to this slow ferment, slow-rise bake that never relies on instant baker’s yeast.
RT: Who are the people behind Night Owl?
NOB: It’s a family affair. Mainly me , support from my partner in Night Owl and life, commercial Fisherman Chris Winkler, and my daughter Ella Stoloff. I am at the point where I need a full-time employee.
RT: What sets Night Owl products apart from other breads on the market?
NOB: All the flours used are triple fermented. We never use raw flour for anti-stick, kneading etc. There are no traces of “green”, “fresh” flour, ever.
RT: What’s the latest from Night Owl Baker? Anything new and exciting in the pipeline?
NOB: We are currently test-baking a line of fermented sourdough super thin crackers, and charcoal crackers made from the same dough—triple fermented, no raw flour.
RT: How would you describe the role sourdough plays for those pursuing a clean, healthy lifestyle?
NOB: True sourdough bread provides optimum, natural gut health via the naturally produced lactobacillus.
RT: When you’re not noshing on delicious sourdough bread… what are you loving to eat right now? What are your go-to’s?
NOB: We live off fresh bread, fresh fish, good cheese, whatever is in season at the East End farms. We’re eating radishes with everything right now. Fresh pesto is the highlight of summer treats.
RT: What’s your favorite recipe to make using your bread?
NOB: I really enjoy some Night Owl toasted thin, a little olive oil, hummus, thin slice of tomato. Avocado toast happens at least once a day. I love the bread with meat and cheese. Many of my customers enjoy sharing with me how they like the bread and I get a lot of great ideas from them.
RT: Rising Tide loves local! What has it been like to start and run a company in Long Island?
NOB: Pretty challenging. Space is at an absolute premium in the Hamptons. I was lucky enough to team up with Holly Gosman of Gosman’s Retail Gourmet market a few years ago. We cooked and prepared the foods for the market together and she has allowed me to use her ovens year around.
RT: What is something FUN most people don’t know about Night Owl Baker?
NOB: Prior to my bread obsession, I worked as an interior decorator. I had a vintage, homewares boutique back home in Topanga, CA.
RT: So many in this community dream of starting their own business. What’s your best piece of advice for launching a successful local biz?
NOB: Slow and steady, and have a back-up plan and a deep affection and belief in your product. Passion is a requisite.
Find Night Owl True Sourdough bread in the freezer section at Rising Tide.