In kitchens across America, a quiet revolution is taking place—one knead at a time. Women are reclaiming the age-old tradition of breadmaking, shunning the shelves of commercial bread aisles in favor of the wholesome goodness that rises in their own ovens.
This movement isn’t just about making a healthier and more economical choice; it’s becoming a catalyst for empowerment and entrepreneurship. And we are more than happy to be this movement’s cheerleader! So we reached out to a bread maven of the highest order, Jamie at @sourdoughonthefarm, to get her story.
How Did You First Get Into Sourdough Bread Making?
My sourdough journey started in 2020 when everything shut down. The kids were home being homeschooled by me and I was also working full time at home. To break up our days I started this thing I called on Instagram #bakingwithjamie where, three days a week, the kids would pick a new dessert and we would bake it together. Sometime after, I’d seen a video for sourdough and my interest went from there. Once the kids went back to school I was able to fully jump into baking bread.
What Inspired You To Explore This Craft At Home? What Was the Driving Factor?
It really was because I wanted to see if I could do it. I realized after the shut downs that I couldn’t rely on a grocery store to provide food for my family and I. We were already homesteading and raising a lot of our own food, this felt like the next step.
Besides just wanting to prove I could do it, I wanted to provide for my family. It is so important to me that my kids know where their food comes from. My great grandma was the driving force behind all of this. She passed away at the age of 99 and my lifestyle now is very similar to her. I really hope she would be proud. We named our Sourdough starter that has fed thousands MarVina after her and my great grandpa Marion.
Were You Motivated To Move Away From Store-Bought Bread And Its Additives?
Absolutely. I have an immune system disorder so I’m already trying to eliminate processed foods and unnecessary added ingredients to our meals. The health benefits were just another perk. Once you start growing and raising your own food it really shocks you what we consider normal and eat every day.
Have You Noticed Any Specific Health Benefits From Consuming Homemade Sourdough Compared To Store-Bought?
We’ve noticed a difference 100%. My family can now notice when we eat bread from a store or restaurant. The side effects we experience are not good.
Because sourdough is fermented your body processes it differently. I truly believe because we aren’t consuming tons of preservatives every week that also has made a difference in our health.
From A Financial Perspective, How Has Making Your Own Bread Proven To Be More Economical Than Purchasing It?
We live approximately 50 minutes from the bigger city. So making our own bread at home means we save gas on a round trip two hour drive to the city. Our smaller town grocery stores carry bread but it’s more expensive and filled with preservatives.
Plus, I can make this bread while being at home with my family and not running around the city buying it.
In addition to Jamie’s bread journey resulting in healthier food and family bonding, it’s also led to amazing developments that allow Jamie to provide in other ways for her family. It’s been a win-win in every aspect.
Can You Share Your Journey From Home Baker To A Business Owner?
I can’t explain exactly when it happened because it feels like overnight sometimes. People wanted to learn to make sourdough themselves. So I perfected my dehydrated starters to sell. Shortly after, we started doing online sourdough classes to people around the U.S.
Once that exploded we had a large group of people who wanted to purchase already made bread from us. I went to a market with 100 loaves and thought I was insane and would never sell out. It ended up raining that day and we sold out in the pouring rain 4 hours before it ended. We’ve just blossomed and grown from there.
Shortly after, I created my gluten free sourdough starter and an online course for those who wanted to learn. It became a passion of mine to provide bread for everyone. We have so many people who haven’t had bread since they were a child and now get to order from us. It makes me so happy!
This past January we extended our license and got our commercial license. This means we can bake for our community but also sell to other businesses.
What Challenges Did You Face In Turning Your Passion Into A Viable Business?
It’s been extremely hard to work through all the laws, regulations and hurdles put in place by our state. The state next to us has none of these same laws, so I have friends doing everything I’m doing without spending thousands and thousands to do it. It’s been defeating at times but I know I was put here to do this for a reason.
We also were recommended to move our booming business to the city. Sourdough on the Farm was created because of my passion for our farm, family and rural community. It will stay on our farm as my great grandma would have done.
What Advice Would You Give To Others Looking To Start A Similar Venture?
Do it! Nothing you’ll ever do is going to be easy but it will be worth it. Whatever brings you joy at the end of the day..that is what matters. Also stick to your beliefs. Don’t let someone talk you into something you don’t believe in.
How Has The Breadmaking Community Impacted Your Business And Personal Life? Have You Found a Supportive Network?
It has been absolutely unreal. Life changing for sure. I’m a very quiet, keep to myself person. With the massive increase last January in demand for our products, my husband and I have had many changes in our day to day lifestyle. Our kids are even a part of the weekly business orders now. My husband and I get to work side by side prepping, planning and baking. It really has become a family business.[Finding a network] has been very hard. It’s a unique business and a lot harder than a traditional bakery that uses yeast. If the weather changes here our products change. Because of the timeline for sourdough it doesn’t leave a ton of time for other things or getting to know other people doing the same.
A huge reason Jamie is so inspirational is because she has not only found the silver lining in the pandemic cloud, but she’s weathered the storm of starting a business amongst extensive red tape, and has big plans for the future (God willing).
Where Do You See Your Bread Making Business Heading In The Future?
We’ve been approved to build our commercial bakery for 2024. I gave the entire project to God and I’m letting Him be in control. I know that whatever path He makes will be what I’m supposed to do. Stay tuned!
Any Final Advice For Others Entering The Homemade Bread World?
Just keep going. What you’re doing or trying to do matters. Remember this was put on your heart for a reason. Whether it’s to bake for your family or the whole town, it matters. And you’re going to be amazing!
Learn more about Jamie’s products and bread making classes here.