There is a whole world that many people don’t know about…while you are comfortable in your bed dreaming your dreams an entire workforce of people are busy creating and working away. Many of the things that we take for granted that are bought and sold everyday somehow just appear without a second thought about how it got there and who makes it...now I am not saying that we should reflect on everything that comes to us on daily basis, but I think that sometimes we should all just take a moment and appreciate the ease in which these things come about.
Let me paint you a picture. It’s past midnight and in a small local artisan store, there is a buzz emanating from within, the lights are off but there is a glow coming from the basement. The sounds of mechanical equipment, the hum of someone giving instructions and the faint sounds of a small radio playing classic rock fills the space and at once completes the picture. It is what I see in my mind’s eye as I have imagined what it would be like to be a night owl perched in a tree watching a small local bakery store produce some really wonderful good eats. A romatic view? I suppose, but one that I am certain isn’t too far off. Working the night shift is something that I have done myself…I feel that it is best to refer to that part of my life and experiences through these rose coloured glasses, as the reality is sometimes not nearly as pretty. Let’s be honest, its tough work and I admire those who soldier on and create something special that many take for granted.
There is simplicity to the store, a smell that brings you back to the country and the good ole days…the Knead Bakery is a charming store that has from the very moment of my first visit and forever more have a special place in my heart. The bread is fantastic, the sweets are delish and the passion for this artform a true labour of love. I am visiting afterhours late at night to get a rare glimpse into the world of what it is like to create all this deliciousness on a daily basis. Heather L is working yet another double tending the store during the day and coming back into train her staff on the in’s and out’s of creating some of the best bread in Toronto. Heather tells me, “that she truly loves what she does.” Her dedication to the art of making great bread is truly amazing, her knowledge, passion and will to working as hard as she does is inspiring. I think that in her sleeping hours, the few that she has she is constantly dreaming up new ways to create bread…some of the combinations of flour, yeast, ingredients are unique and the results speak for themselves.
I choose to photograph Heather in her element as I find it fascinating how she does what she does. Being that I am a Chef, I have had my fair chance to make bread and pastries. It’s a mandatory course requirement, but honestly, I don’t have the aptitude to be a good baker…it’s all about precision something that I’m not about...well at least when it comes to baking. It truly is unique that Heather combines maths, formulas and precise measurements to produce an end product that dare I say it…has a soul. It isn’t just bread or a pull a part cinnamon, apple and raisin loaf…you can taste the care, the thought and the love that went into making it…and I love that.
If you ever what to know and taste what a truly awesome bakery should be like you have to come and say, “Hello” to Heather and her team I bet you won’t leave empty handed!
283 Scarborough Road,
Hour of Operation
8:00am – 6:30pm Tuesday – Friday
8:00am – 5:30pm Saturday
9:00am – 3:00pm Sunday