Dave’s Killer Bread

Ex-con and recovered drug addict finds life’s calling making delicious, healthful organic breads

Bread box
As CN&R office manager Jane Corbett declared recently when a sizable brown-cardboard carton arrived addressed to me from a Milwaukie, Ore., establishment called Dave’s Killer Bread, “I’ve never seen anybody get bread in the mail!” Me neither.

But I have to say that I sure am glad that Dave’s Killer Bread company decided to send me, unsolicited, four loaves of its USDA-certified organic bread—one each of Powerseed, 21 Whole Grains, Blues Bread and Good Seed.

With a motto like “Just say no to bread on drugs!” (which appears on everything to do with Dave’s Killer Bread, from the shipping carton I received, to the bread bags, to the company’s PR material), there’s got to be a story, right?

There is.

Dave Dahl—the president and the “Dave” of Dave’s Killer Bread (DKB)—is a handsome, chiseled chap with an earring in one ear who, as his press release says, “grew up working in his parents’ Portland bakery.” The press release goes on to describe Dahl as having “struggled with severe [undiagnosed] depression.

“He turned to drugs more and more,” it continues. “Methamphetamines led him down a road of crime and incarceration. He was sentenced to state prison four times for a total of 15 years. The turning point came in 2001, about 3.5 years into his last sentence, when he found help for his depression via prescription medication and subsequent vocational training for computer-aided drafting/machining.”

Dave Dahl: Making the world a better place, one loaf of organic bread at a time.

Photo courtesy of dave’s killer bread

One good thing led to another, and Dahl ended up getting an early release from prison in 2004, after which he went back to work in his family’s baking business, at this point run by his brother Glenn.

Long story short: Dave, Glenn (who is DKB’s chairman of the board) and Glenn’s son Shobi (CEO) are seriously rocking the Pacific Northwest’s organic-bread world. Dave’s Killer Bread (with a logo, by the way, that features a muscular, cartoon Dave rocking out on an electric guitar) recently expanded its horizons to include Northern California and Nevada.

Dave Dahl’s stated mission is “making the world a better place, one loaf of bread at a time,” a statement that appears on the back of the package of every loaf of DKB bread. In addition to making super healthful (and very delicious, I must add, especially toasted and buttered) bread, DKB also deserves high praise for its policy of hiring approximately 30 percent ex-felons.

I’d never heard of Dave’s bread before the arrival of my gift box, but I will definitely seek out his rockin’ bread for future eating enjoyment—it is carried locally by Safeway. Besides the varieties sent to me, Dave’s produces a number of other intriguing-sounding breads, such as Robust Raisin and Rockin’ Rye Bread, and the Peace-Bomb Mini-Baguette, as well as cinnamon rolls.

Neighborly connections
On Dec. 6, the Chico Grange will host a potluck/presentation called “Connecting Neighborhoods for a Transition through Unstable Times: Strategies to Find Common Ground.” As Grange (and GRUB) member Stephanie Elliott put it, “The program aims to help us find connections with our neighbors. As we enter into a transition through unstable times, who better to connect with than the people closest to us—our neighbors?” Potluck starts at 6 p.m., program at 6:20 p.m. Call Elliott at 354-1646 for more info.