By Ted Simpson –
There’s a savoury new aroma wafting through the streets of Hintonburg: fresh sourdough bread courtesy of our city’s newest artisan bakery, Bread By Us.
Below the wood grain sign, just slightly to the left of Victoria Pharmacy (1065 Wellington Street West) is a humble, yet brilliant addition to the community. Bread By Us is a small batch bakery and espresso bar that is owned and operated by master baker Jessica Carpinone.
Carpinone recently set out on her own after finding acclaim as a chef and baker at downtown foodie hotspot, Murray Street Kitchen. With four years of experience as a professional baker in hand, Carpinone has wasted no time in making her mark on Ottawa’s culinary landscape.
“I always felt like I wanted to run a business of my own,” she says. “I felt like the market wasn’t really saturated, there was room for a new place.”
Her new business is all about the bread, making the purest and highest quality product possible.
“I love to eat it, it’s my favourite food in the world,” she says, explaining scientific intricacies of the baking process that most people can’t possibly appreciate.
Carpinone specializes in sourdough bread. Sourdough is special because the yeast that is utilized is naturally found in the environment and has a slower fermentation process.
This is the opposite method to what one would find in most grocery store bakeries, which use much more yeast to achieve a much faster process.
“My style is to try and extract as much flavour and potential from the grain as possible, and that takes time,” explains Carpinone. “I hope it comes across in the breads, they’re not rushed, they are really thoughtful.”
The result is a loaf with crispy crust, soft interior and a complex flavour. In addition to its deliciousness, the bread lasts longer than the conventional variety. Sourdough is a natural preservative, which gives the loaves a shelf life of two to three days.
The bakery opened their doors shortly before Christmas and have been ramping up to a grand opening event the weekend of January 11-12, when Carpinone and her staff will eagerly meet their new neighbours and members of the community.
“I wanted to be in a mostly residential area, but still central. Hintonburg has the best of both worlds for me,” says Carpinone of her new home. “I like dealing with people who are here every day, I like to feel the pulse of the neighbourhood itself.”
In the spirit of community, Bread By Us offers a unique idea they call the “suspended program.” Simply put, it is an easy way to pay-it-forward to a neighbour who might be less fortunate.
“Somebody who might have more means can buy whatever they like, and they can buy a second item for someone who might not have the money for it in the future,” says Carpinone.
Items bought on the suspended program are available to anyone who may need the comfort of a good coffee or a loaf of bread to eat during a hard time.
Bread By Us is open seven days a week, though Carpinone does take Mondays as a day off. Coffee and croissants are ready for 8:00 a.m., with baguettes and focaccia rolling out by lunch and a full assortment of fresh loaves on hand for post work foraging.