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This Baker Takes Artisan to a New Level

Lauren Barry is the owner of The Elder Bread, an artisan bakery in South Bend, Indiana. She is also the sole operator, which means she runs the counter, makes deliveries, buys ingredients — not to mention makes every recipe from scratch.

“Everybody loves food. You kind of get that special excitement when you’re about to eat a warm cookie or a warm loaf of bread.”

Video Transcript

Meet Lauren, a baker in South Bend, Indiana.

Lauren Barry: Okay. So I’m going to do the next stretch.

All right. Hey, what’s up?

Customer: How you doing?

Lauren: How may I help you?

Customer: I just came to buy all your snacks.

Lauren: Oh, all my snacks?

Customer: All your snacks.

Lauren: That’s cool.

Customer: I’ll take a cinnamon roll.

Lauren: A cinnamon roll? All right. To go, or for here?

Everybody loves food. You kind of get that special excitement when you’re about to eat a warm cookie or a warm loaf of bread. You’re just like (exhales). I get really excited.

Lauren is the sole owner and operator of The Elder Bread. She makes everything from scratch. 

I don’t really ever have a plan. I don’t know. I just kind of went for it. I just go for things.

(She’s holding an extension cord bound with duct tape.) I fixed it. I’m an electrician, too.

(Lauren is shown mixing ingredients and pouring water into a container of dough.) 

This gets more hydration because rye… needs it. You want the salt to be integrated into it, but you don’t want to be too rough with the bread. Which — you say knead? I don’t knead bread. I don’t “need” bread. Yeah, I don’t knead it.

Maybe other people had that magical moment, but I was just making bread because I was bored and just started selling it. I’m like, “Well, I’ll just start making more stuff.” And then I just started selling that, too. And then I guess opportunities kind of just arose for me.

There’s no one else here. You know, I’m the delivery girl. If I need ingredients, I gotta go to the store — gotta leave, sorry.

Man, I’m scared every day, you know? It’s good to be like that. I think if I wasn’t scared, that’d be a problem.

(She’s holding a split loaf of freshly baked bread.)

It’s beautiful. I like to put my face in it and smell.

(She’s showing a small recipe book.)

It’s the book of secrets. Here’s all my recipes — not like all of them ever, but it’s the ones I make here. And my daughter has to write her name on everything.

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