Click Here for Fresh-Baked Bread
One Peekskill dough master is using the Internet to make homemade loaves a staple again
Photos courtesy of Journeyman
Peekskill resident Michael Sellers is bringing the tradition of fresh, home-baked bread to the front doors of residents throughout Northern Westchester. Using the concept of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), traditional methods of bread baking, and savvy online marketing, Sellers launched his subscription-based bread service, Journeyman Bakery, in June.
“People think that fresh bread is a luxury, but it doesn’t have to be that way,” Sellers says.
His Community Supported Bakery (CSB) allows customers to select their subscription online and get a just-out-of-the-oven artisan loaf delivered every Friday. Options range from a one-time delivery of single loaves like vollkornbrot, a German-style rye, or pain au levain, a French sourdough, ranging from $6 to $7.50. Or, you can subscribe to four weeks of a particular category of bread—breakfast, sandwich, or baker’s choice—and receive one loaf a week for $26 to $30.
Sellers runs his service like most other subscription-based providers—you can make changes, cancel, or freeze your enrollment easily online. Sellers also offers a one-time trial for customers interested in trying it out without commitment.
Though chances are you will commit. Sellers bakes the bread himself every Friday and delivers it immediately after, so loaves come warm to your front door. He uses flour from Champlain Valley Milling Co, a certified organic, family owned and operated mill in Westport, NY.
Sellers is well-trained. While working in healthcare communications, he started to study with some top bakers in the area, including Jeffrey Hamelman, the director of the King Arthur Flour Bakery in Norwich, VT, bread and pastry chef Ciril Hitz, and farm-to-table chef Ian Knauer.
“The bread just started picking up, and by the end of May, I started doing it full-time," Sellers explains. "When I am not baking or delivering, I am testing recipes and doing outreach to new customers and new markets. People are not shy to tell me what they think."
Sellers’ ultimate goal is to open a retail location that expands his mission. Or as he describes, “I am staying away from wholesale because I got into this to explore the idea of how bread feeds a community, not just physically, but spiritually and emotionally." And while Sellers' subscription model helps cut back on food waste, the extra he does end up with gets donated to a local homeless shelter or to families who cannot afford his loaves.
If you want to see and taste the bread before logging on for a subscription, you can find Journeyman dough at NewYork-Presbyterian/Hudson Valley Hospital’s farmers’ market every first and third Tuesday of the month up until November. He also sells the bread to Glynwood Farm CSA customers in Cold Spring.