The task of translating and transmitting the story of regional and whole grains from the people who are doing the growing, baking and concept development to the customers and retail teams who are selling it isn’t an easy one. But, ultimately, it is an important one, as customers are a vital component in supporting our local grain economy and helping it grow and flourish. How do we partner front of house teams with bakers to share knowledge and passion in an authentic way, to create a real connection, and help bridge the gap between bakers and customers? How do we maintain this as a business grows?
Jess Tannenbaum oversees Grand Central Bakery’s seven bakery-cafes in Portland, developing and training managers and staff, ensuring efficient communication and supporting excellent customer service at every location. She joined Grand Central in 2007 as a café manager and now applies her managerial talents to supporting retail efficiency and the company’s mission of serving delicious, authentic food made from high-quality local and sustainable ingredients while growing a healthy, values-driven business. Originally from the East Coast, Jess attended Boulder’s School of Natural Cookery and The Evergreen State College and spent many years as a personal chef and baker.
Renée Bourgault, a self-proclaimed “baker-by-marriage” opened Breadfarm in 2003 alongside her husband, Scott Mangold. With a background in sales and marketing, she oversees the Retail, Farmers Markets and Pastry production at their artisan bakery. She enjoys forging relationships with small farmers and producers to incorporate into their baked goods, in addition to traveling and sharing food with friends.
Megan Davis moved to Hood River in 1995 to open a small coffee and baked goods shop. Hungry sailors and tourists stopped there for tasty muffins, breakfast burritos, great coffee, and her signature local peach coffee cake. Years later she and husband Clint temporarily relocated to Portland for Clint’s graduate school pursuit. Megan took employment with the family business, Grand Central Bakery. Megan baked and cooked at several of the Portland retail bakeries prior to returning to Hood River when Clint graduated.
After years of planning, borrowing, studying, tasty kitchen research, and extra education, Pine Street Bakery opened its doors in Hood River in June of 2012. They started with 8 hard working dedicated employees and has now grown to 30 plus. With great community support, Pine Street Bakery has become a cornerstone of the heights neighborhood in Hood River and expanded wholesale to accounts like Full Sail and Double Mountain breweries. Pine Street buys from over 30 local farmers, growers and ranchers and continues to seek out more.
Annie Moss is a co-owner and pastry chef at Seastar Bakery in Portland, Oregon. She has worked to develop local and regional food systems on both the East and West coasts. While living in New York, she co-operated an urban farm in the Bronx led by women of color, and also worked with June Russell to develop local grain economies for the Greenmarket. In Portland, she was the founding manager for Tabor Bread, one of the country’s first bakeries to use entirely locally-grown, house-milled grains. Annie has spent the past decade exploring the nexus of politics, food, social justice, and community.