It all started with 11 loaves…
My passion for crusty artisan breads came from growing up in Eastern Europe – walking down to the local bakery in Moscow, Russia, and returning home to my dismayed mother with nothing but a half-eaten loaf of bread and a full tummy. Fast-forward a few years to Willmar, Minnesota. In the absence of an artisan bakery in town, Al and I learned how to make French loaves at home. When an opportunity presented itself, we brought 11 loaves of homemade bread to the Becker Market to upstage our enterprising young children in their ambitious jewelry-selling endeavors. We sold 7 of those loaves and were instantly hooked. Since then, our little enterprise has grown through two different markets, our family’s coffeeshop experiment, a couple of different names, and has now landed in our very own backyard.
At The Back 4o, we focus on crafting small batches of homemade artisanal and gourmet loaves. We love exploring new flavors and textures, thinking up new recipes, and using the freshest ingredients available. In contrast to a storefront bakery, where large volumes of bread are mass-produced and sold daily, we offer a weekly subscription (The Weekly Loaf) as well as the option to place special orders. Think of us as a boutique of artisan breads and pastries.
While there is no exact definition of artisanal bread, the term artisan refers to handrafted, small batches, made with simple ingredients. Rustic but uniform. Artisanal loaves are part science, part art. We produce commercially yeasted gourmet loaves, savory and sweet, as well as naturally fermented, multi-grain sourdoughs.