At an event in New York City yesterday, La Brea Bakery, North America’s No. 1 artisan bread brand, announced its new La Brea Bakery Reserve: a line of artisan breads made from single-origin heirloom grains. It’s the first nationally available farm-to-table artisan bread.
“La Brea Bakery Reserve captures the idea of Wheat with a Purpose,” says Jonathan Davis, senior vice president of culinary research and innovation, La Brea Bakery, Los Angeles. “The notion that wheat is more than a commodity; the very soul of the ingredient is entrenched in the land and the people that care for it. We’re privileged to be working with farmers growing the highest quality wheat in the world, and our team of prestigious bakers created this line in the hopes of revolutionizing the marketplace and positively impacting perceptions of eating bread for consumers. La Brea Bakery Reserve is a bread people can trust and get excited about bringing home to the table.”
In order to learn more details surrounding La Brea Bakery Reserve, we reached out to Kristina Dermody, president, La Brea Bakery.
Douglas J. Peckenpaugh: What are the different breads in the new farm-to-table line of breads from La Brea Bakery?
Kristina Dermody: La Brea Bakery Reserve includes three different flavorful loaves: Pain de Campagne, Fortuna Wheat Loaf and Struan. These breads are produced from Wheat Montana’s Fortuna Wheat, which is a non-GMO heirloom grain grown for flavor and not for yield.
DJP: Why did La Brea Bakery develop a farm-to-table line of breads?
KD: At La Brea Bakery we are passionate about being at the forefront of the real food movement. That’s why we developed a farm-to-table line of breads. With the help of Wheat Montana, we were able to create La Brea Bakery Reserve, which is truly unique to the market as the first single-origin heirloom grain artisan bread available on a national scale. We are committed to sourcing responsibly and supporting farmers who grow sustainable food. We want to encourage today’s consumers to examine where their food comes from and why it matters.
DJP: What did this line require in terms of supply-chain logistics?
KD: Our partnership with Wheat Montana is so unique to how wheat is normally procured for a bakery. Instead of buying on a commodity market, we decided to partner directly with the farmer to grow wheats that had true purpose for La Brea Bakery and were specifically grown to yield the best-tasting artisan bread possible.
DJP: Why is farm-to-table important to today’s bread consumers?
KD: Today’s consumers want to know where their food comes from and that what they are feeding their families is the highest quality and nutrition possible. At La Brea Bakery, our No. 1 priority is providing a level of transparency that has never been seen before in the artisan bread market. We can show consumers that wheat has an identity and is capable of making some truly special breads.
DJP: How might a farm-to-table bread help win back consumers who have strayed away from regularly eating bread?
KD: La Brea Bakery Reserve provides a few different points that can help consumers who have strayed away from bread. We are giving consumers unprecedented knowledge about the source and nutrition behind the ingredients in the bread they are eating. The guarantee of knowing where ingredients (especially grain) are sourced is very appealing to today’s consumers.
DJP: Do you see farm-to-table as part of the overall drive toward clean, clear and transparent labeling?
KD: Absolutely. Farm-to-table is leading the charge in food transparency. Responsibly sourced, wholesome ingredients should always be first on a food label. At La Brea Bakery, we have committed our entire line of artisan breads to be non-GMO (genetically modified organisms) by the end of the year, making it the first non-GMO artisan bread line available in North America.
DJP: How will La Brea Bakery promote the farm-to-table line, and what can retailers do to promote the products to shoppers?
KD: La Brea Bakery Reserve will be rolling out in select grocery stores across the country throughout 2016, as well as at the La Brea Bakery Café in Los Angeles.