Friday, April 16, 2010

Just What Kind of Person Works in a Wholesale Gluten Free Bakery Anyway?

We're located right near the banks of the Connecticut River in Brattleboro, VT, and Amtrak trundles by twice a day!

Starting our own business from scratch (with zero experience in the food industry) and hiring and developing a staff we can trust has been an amazing experience. Everything we bake is made in small batches with fresh ingredients, and there is a lot of our staff in every bag we sell. (Of course, I’m not referring to their hair or anything like that--joke.) Much thought goes into what we bake, and there is considerable team interaction involved before our products land on the shelves of a retail store or a food service counter. Our products most definitely reflect the personalities behind them.

The only commonality at Against The Grain seems to be that everyone is an intelligent foodie in some way. They are master problem-solvers, and they get giddy when we work on new product development. One could say that everyone’s input is “baked into” the final product. We work really hard, show tremendous respect for what we bake, and even find time to goof around.

Among our staff, we have someone who was an opera composer and is a performing pianist. We have a philosophy major, who is an expert in healing herbs and is currently working on a master’s degree in nutrition. There’s a professional puppeteer, and an ethnomusicologist, who is also a reggae drummer, a glass blower, and has his own radio show. Then there is an environmental ecologist, who is also a fine arts painter. We also have our own mini-version of Donald Trump (well, he’s a lot nicer than “the Donald,”) who has a black belt in Taekwondo and is on his way to becoming a real estate mogul. There’s a comparative religion major, someone with a doctorate in animal behavior, and a single mom who has lived in a kibbutz in Israel and on a Hare Krishna dairy farm. We also employ a young man who attends a local school for autism; he’s a train fanatic and a master storyteller. Chester, the office Golden, scares away salesmen, jumps all over ornery truck drivers, and has been known to chase bankers back to their car.

What do all these people have to do with gluten free bread? They are some of the most creative people you’ll find, and all of us that eat gluten free know that it takes a lot of creativity to make a premium product.

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