By LeRae Haynes –
Kate Sulis and Tim Hathaway at the Bread Peddler in Wells bake bread that is good from the inside out and delicious from crust to crumb. It’s substantial, meaningful, beautiful food baked from the heart.
In summer they bring scones to Quesnel farmers’ market, along with granola, spiced hot chocolate mix, and whole grain pancake mix. They also sell weekly at Green Tea Health and Wellness in Quesnel on Reid Street, and sell hot bread in Wells right out of the oven on Tuesday evenings.
Kate and Tim have owned the Bread Peddler for over two years. “I built myself an outdoor cobb oven about nine years ago on a whim, based on books I had,” Kate explained. “And from the fun and success of using that oven I thought one day I’d like to have a proper brick oven connected to a building so I could use it year round.
“Tim and I met in Saskatchewan cycling across Canada, while both doing solo trips. By the time it became clear that he was going to move to Wells, the idea started to form. He can build almost anything, and it went from there.”
Tim said they were floored by the success. “We used to do pizza once a week and had to drop it: we just got too busy. It’s been successful beyond our dreams,” he explained.
Kate added there’s a real hole in the market for good bread. “We’re baking pre-industrial-age bread and it’s amazing how people respond to the flavour,” she said.
People are more aware today about what they put in their bodies and are looking more into real foods, said Tim, adding it’s a very positive development.
He also said it’s incredible to hear people’s response the first time they taste bread from the Bread Peddler. “They say things like ‘Wow! I’ve never tasted bread like this before,’” he said. “Sometimes people come to Wells to buy bread on a Tuesday and it’s gone before they drive home to Quesnel.”
People always mention the crust, Kate noted. “It’s very crispy, delicious, and different,” she said. “We had a woman who came in and bought a loaf, borrowed a knife, cut off the crusts and ate them on the spot, before taking the rest home for hubby.”
She explained that the meat of the loaf is called the crumb. “Our bread is firm, springy, and airy, with dents and air pockets,” she said. “Whole grain can be heavy and dry, but ours is moist and full of flavour.”
Tim explained that people keep mentioning expansion, but they prefer to run a small business by themselves with one staff person on baking days. “Larger companies lose intimacy and sometimes quality control,” he said.
“We do some experimenting once in a while,” Tim said. “Generally the way we produce bread now is the way we want it to be.”
For more information about the Bread Peddler, phone (250) 994-3498, follow the company on Facebook, or visit www.thebreadpeddler.ca.
LeRae Haynes is a freelance writer, song writer, community co-ordinator for Success by 6, member of Perfect Match dance band, and instigator of lots of music with kids