Bread ’n’ buttah

Local bakers join forces, Lovely Layers at Dutch Bros., and granting wishes

It seems a little strange that I choose to write about bread this week. For those unfamiliar, Jews forgo doughy godness during Passover (April 10-18) as a reminder of their liberation from slavery in Egypt—they were set free with no time to allow their bread to rise. While I generally don’t keep kosher (I’ve totally used bacon grease in my matzo ball soup—shh, it was delicious!), I do respect those who do. So, at the risk of activating the salivary glands of all my Jewish friends out there, I introduce the Chico Bread Guild. (If nothing else, I’ll give you a darn good way to break your fast!)

A few weeks ago, Jordan Vogel, operations manager at Tin Roof Bakery, invited me to check out a new group of bakers that’s come together right here in Chico. As a longtime lover of bread (who isn’t, right?), I was intrigued. Of course I’d stop by.

I got to meet several guild members during a planning meeting for the upcoming Chico Bread Festival (April 23, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., at Tin Roof Bakery). On hand were Dave Miller of Miller’s Bake House in Yankee Hill; Larry Jansen of Hearth and Stone Bakery in Cohasset; and Kala Riddle of Chico’s Bread by Kala—find her sourdough creations at the Naked Lounge and Comanche Creek Farms. Others involved in the guild include Tatton White, owner of Bread Itself—find him at the Wednesday morning farmers’ market; and Jesse Simpson from the Chico Unified School District.

Honestly, I didn’t realize there were so many independent bread bakers here in Chico. There are probably more, though. In speaking with the group, it was apparent that they recognize each others’ strengths and niches and don’t want to view each other as competition. Rather, Vogel said, they want to work together to promote locally made breads over store-bought brands. Just a few of the benefits: knowing where the ingredients come from and that they aren’t packed with artificial preservatives, dough conditioners and sugars.

The Bread Festival sounds like it will be a lot of fun. With complementary vendors on hand—think locally made olive oils, cheeses and jams—there will also be demos, tastings and all kinds of other treats in store.

Speaking of bakers Have you ever gone through the drive-thru at Dutch Bros. just wishing you could get a bite to eat with that caffeine injection? You’re in luck! Emily Zimmerman, owner of Lovely Layers Cakery, recently announced that she’s now providing sweet treats to the Dutch Bros. locations in Chico. Lemon loaves, blueberry pound cake, cinnamon streusel, banana bread, with and without nuts. Yeah!

Give blood, hope If you’ve been putting off donating blood, now’s your time to double up on good karma. During the month of April, BloodSource in Chico will make a monetary donation to Make a Wish Northeastern California and Northern Nevada for every blood donation received. Visit the Chico location at 555 Rio Lindo Ave. or log onto to find mobile drives in Paradise and Oroville.