A few months ago I posted a couple of my frequent Costco purchases in my Instagram Stories. For the cabin I always purchase this Essential Baking Company bread because it lasts FOREVER in your cupboard and when you want fresh bread immediately you bake it in the oven for about 15 minutes and it turns you into a baking genius who has made fresh baked bread without hard work or a mess in your kitchen. It tastes delicious with soup and Boursin cheese which I also buy in bulk at Costco and the aroma in the kitchen would be any bread lover’s dream perfume. About a week after I posted, the marketing team from Essential Baking contacted me and invited me for dinner and a baking class at the actual bakery with their head baker and CEO so of course I said yes.
As with most things in the blogging world, I often have no idea what’s going to happen when I arrive somewhere, but it’s a fun adventure and I love it. I showed up at the Essential bakery headquarters where I met with the marketing team and asked them if they had seen my story. NO! No they hadn’t. This was just kismet! So here I was on a private tour with DadLogic who I had just met at another event and we had the whole bakery to ourselves.
I find that once you get to know a company it helps you love them a little more especially if you think they’re pretty cool to begin with. Reading through the Essential Baking blog, I found out that their bake at home bread also creates less waste. Less waste is something I am totally trying to achieve in life so I love that buying it helps me help me reduce waste in the BIG PICTURE. I am still so curious about their secret way of packaging the bread preservative free and apparently they do something like this for pizza crust too. I’m going to have to stop at their bakery now though for the Rosemary loaf and sourdough loaves that Costco does not have because they sent me home with these bake-at-home loaves and they might be even more magical than the one I already buy. The Rosemary loaf is their most popular bread and I can totally see why.
After we tried making our own loaves of bread we went into a room full of bubbling yeasty vats of bread starter where all the bread doughs get started with a mother starter. It reminded me of some bubbling gaseous pits we saw in Rotarua New Zealand recently but it smelled SO much more heavenly. And this is where I learned the most incredible bit of knowledge about the Essential Baking Company in Seattle. They might just have the most historical bread starter in the city and if this intrigues you too, you might need to do a little deeper digging into this story. It might even come from the Gold Rush and it might also be in a museum in Germany. Remember, I was just intrigued by the bubbling vats of yeast because yeast by the way is creepy and ALIVE and then we moved on to another part of the factory.
George DePasquale, the founder and head baker and Tom Campanile, the CEO and President toured us through the facility and people working seemed happy and the bread and pastries seemed like they were coming from a happy place. (Does this matter to you too? I really care that my food comes from a happy place because ultimately it becomes part of us too…) We saw breads baking, machines whirring, ovens glowing and pastries just waiting to be eaten.
And of course we ate some too! I came home with a bunch of bread that I shared with friends and family and we all ate bread for days. It’s crazy that a brand we see all over Washington is still so homegrown. We used to frequent the Fremont area location of Essential Bakery a ton when our boys were small and we used to go for breakfasts out more often. Now, in the era of flying by the seat of my pants from one lesson to another, I’m thankful there is an online ordering option to tide me over until I get a bit more time.
(PS. I was a guest on a private tour of the bakery and as always the opinions on this blog are my own.)
(PPS. We are always checking labels because of all of our friends and family’s dietary needs. If you are interested in gluten-free bread, they do have a gluten-free line of breads and pizzas which are quite tasty. AND their bake-at-home rosemary bread is vegan too!)