An Interview with the Founder of STELLA Bakery

I got to meet the founder of STELLA Bakery here in Montana last month when she came to tour my farm.  At my request, she told us a little about how KAMUT® Brand Wheat is used for her bakery.

Tell us a little about your Bakery. 

STELLA Bakery is the first and only Community Supported Bakery In Bozeman, MT. We provide organic, sourdough breads through a bread-share program. In a Community Supported Bakery (CSB) production is driven by a pre-order system which eliminates waste, reduces food miles, keeps your dollars local and provides you with the opportunity to purchase organic, nutritious, wild yeast leavened bread directly from the baker. This model of purchasing bread-shares creates a sense of ownership in our food. The bread share guarantees customers delicious, nutritious, non-GMO bread for their family and friends.

Where is STELLA located and what are your specialties?

STELLA was founded in 2011 at Mono Lake in the Eastern Sierra of California and we are located in Bozeman, MT.  My specialty is sourdough bread. All organic, local and naturally fermented breads. No commercial yeast, only natural yeasts are used to leaven my breads. My mission since coming to Montana is to give people an opportunity to connect with a basic food source again. Bread has become so commercialized and is made in an industrial way that we forget about the farmers who grow our grains, the work that goes into creating a loaf of nutritious, delicious and beautiful bread and the quality of commercially grown wheat is very poor and lacks all kinds of nutrients and flavor.  I am constantly connecting with farmers and finding old varieties of wheat and other heritage and ancient grains. I came from a family passionate about high quality, local, organic and great tasting food. For the business I try to recreate the breads I ate growing up in Germany while constantly incorporating new techniques that create old flavors. 

How did you first get introduced to KAMUT® Brand Wheat?

I found KAMUT wheat at a local health food store in Mammoth Lakes, CA. It was an ancient grain I had never heard of. I bought a bag of the beautiful KAMUT berries and ground them the next day and put it in my bread and totally loved the flavor! I’ve made KAMUT bread ever since.

How do you use KAMUT® Brand Wheat?

I use KAMUT flour as well as cracked KAMUT wheat in my sourdough breads. I usually grind my own whole grain KAMUT fresh before using it.

You went to Big Sandy to visit Bob’s farm.  Tell us about it!

Oh our visit to the farm was fantastic! I had never been to Big Sandy before nor had I seen how a grain is planted. We drove up through beautiful MT. country and arrived at the farm late morning. Patrick, one of Bob’s interns immediately had us meet him out on the last field of KAMUT wheat they were planting. We got to see the seeder in action, truck loads of KAMUT grain going in the ground, one grain at a time! Amazing! We got to drive in the big tractor with the caterpillar tracks.  That machine is huge! After seeing the seeding process we went up to Bob’s house and we got to meet Bob in person, which was such a treat! He has this wonderful family tree on his property with flag poles all around, so he decided it was a festive day and we needed to raise the German, American and Montana flags! It was fantastic! Bob then proceeded to show us all his other gardens, orchards, the oil barn etc. He is really doing incredible work up there and he was so warm and welcoming and showing it all to us and answering all my questions!! After our big tour of the property Bob made us “Rösti” hash browns fried in the delicious safflower oil from his farm for lunch. All his workers came in and we had a feast! It was a really special visit and I have a much better understanding of where KAMUT wheat comes from now and can tell my customers about it. I am going back up for harvest!

What’s your favorite KAMUT® Brand Wheat dish/baked good? Either from your bakery or other.

I love cooking cracked KAMUT wheat like a hot cereal with a little milk, honey, raisins and cinnamon for breakfast, it lasts me all day! Delicious! But the KAMUT sourdough bread might be my all time favorite.

Have your customers heard of KAMUT® Brand Wheat products?  If so, what do they have to say about it?

Some customers have heard of it others haven’t. The ones that know about it love it, I have not heard a single person say that they dislike it. My KAMUT loaf is very popular. For the people that have not heard about it I tell them the story of my farm visit and where it is grown and all its health benefits and give them one of the brochures. Friends that I have served the KAMUT cereal can’t believe how long it lasts and that they usually can make it through the rest of the day till dinner without being hungry.