A bakery, farm, orchard and home.
Who we are and how we got here.
ORCHARD HILL B.B. (BEFORE BAKERY)
1800 - 1997
The farmhouse my grandparents bought in 1972, pictured here in the late 1800s. On the outside the house remains much the same, although the two maple trees out front are more than twice the size.
AN OVEN OF STONE AND CLAY
When we decided to build a wood fired oven, I had no idea baking was to become my career. The oven was simply an added feature to our little farming operation.
In the green shirt is Elliot Burch, the person responsible for getting me started in baking.
ENOUGH OUTDOOR BAKING. TIME TO MOVE INSIDE
1998 - 2002
A new farm stand built by friends and volunteers, a new oven built by Alan Scott with the help of two dozen workshop guests, a new kitchen, a full time employee and several apprentices. The hobby bakery was no longer just a hobby.
TIME TO BUILD A PROPER HOME
After three years living behind the bakery in a yurt, freezing in winter and roasting in summer, a major renovation of the bakery’s second floor provided my family and I a modern, comfortable home, and an even shorter commute to work: one staircase instead of 100 feet.
GROW, CHANGE AND ABOVE ALL, TRY NOT TO BURN OUT
After 5 years of baking in the Alan Scott built brick oven, the demands of the business required a change to a higher capacity, more efficient bread oven.
A new wood fired oven from Spain filled an entire shipping container with brick, mortar and steel. Eight days later this marvelous tool stood ready to bake.
There are tools that perform many tasks very well, but there are some tasks that only a very specific tool can perform well. Our Spanish oven bakes breads and pastries with flying colors, but nothing bakes pizzas like a live fire oven. We’ve always enjoyed having friends and family over for pizza, so we built a new oven just for that purpose.
ELEVEN YEARS, TIME TO FRESHEN UP
Every commercial kitchen needs updating from time to time, kitchens built in renovated barns especially so. Added to this kitchen remodel was a water heating system which utilizes waste heat from the oven to provide unlimited hot water for the bakery.
A PLACE TO GATHER
Our homemade pizza oven, built in 2008 with a plan to feed a couple dozen people once a week during the summer, was now feeding a couple hundred people on a typical Tuesday pizza night. This called for a new oven and a place to host large crowds. The community rallied around this need and support in every imaginable form came pouring in.
That brings us to the present. Thanks for following along to this point. As you might expect, there are hundreds of stories and pictures to go along with every picture you’ve seen, as well as a colorful cast of characters that have made it all happen. Check back soon, this story is far from complete.