Since 1994, George and crew have been committed not just to the art of perfect bread but to supporting the organic growers and environmental practices that are vital to sustaining it. His passion encouraged us from the beginning, and his support for a healthier food chain keeps us going.
“I still think it's a very important thing to have neighborhood bakeries and hyper-localized foods in lots of different ways,” he says. “I find that to be really exciting. You have terroir in wine, olive oil, and cheese, and fermented stuff. There's a definite difference in what comes from where, and my original thought was wouldn't it be great if we could have that kind of regionality and identity—to really identify the Pacific Northwest as a center of a particular flavor.”
One of the flours George relies on for that unique local taste is Expresso. “The process that (Cairnspring) is using really preserves a lot more of the character of the flour.” he says, “If we buy the same variety (elsewhere), there's really a discernible difference between the two. The Cairnspring is really much more flavorful, and we really like that. It comes out in the product. Those products really have a very unique flavor profile, a very unique exterior.”
That’s what it takes to build a food economy that’s better for everybody. George is helping us, and we're helping him, too. “There was always that connection,” he agrees, “wanting that connection with the farmer and the miller. That's the ideal to me—working directly with Kevin (Morse), working directly with the millers, has always been critical. I think those relationships are what makes something like Essential Baking possible.”