• Madison

Buttery Baked Goodness: The Source of our Breads

Every day Grand River Bakery begins the day at 6:00am, baking the delicious breads and buns that we use at Grand River Brewery in our menu offerings. The breads and buns long ferment overnight to give a nuanced flavor and a higher quality. Later in the morning the cake decorator starts working on custom cake orders, the market cakes, and wholesale cakes for GRB. Come midday the pastry chef arrives to work on the array of cookies, scones, muffins, and cinnamon rolls the bakery also specializes in. Then starts the bread production for the next day, and the cycle begins again. This week’s blog post is all about the bakery, what they do, and what their mission is, starting with the head baker Arie’s story and input.

Arie told me during our interview that he has always had a spiritual attraction to baking, that being a pastry chef and a baker was always his focus in life. Perhaps this comes from his love for making people happy, which fuels his enjoyment for custom orders. He says that orders from customers that are having their own personal events and holidays often present a challenge that Arie and the team take on as an opportunity for enrichment. Unique family parties and weddings as well as nontraditional holidays such as Saint Patrick’s Day are one of Arie’s baking passions.

Having baked for as long as he can remember, Arie started working in professional kitchens at the age of 14. He spoke to me about the importance of fostering good mentor relationships early on if you want to start a career as a baker or pastry chef. Going out and working as many jobs in the industry is the best way to establish those relationships that will ultimately be educational in their own right while hopefully presenting opportunities of their own. Experience and relationships, Arie says, are keys to a good baker.

That attitude of “just do it” is a large part of how Arie and Grand River Bakery are so successful. Since he took on the role, Arie’s job has been to bring the baking staff together into a cohesive team, to establish strict and consistent quality standards, and to clean up and organize the bakery. Arie’s program has worked wonders, and the bakery is now putting out consistent quality baked goods for 45 clients plus individual custom orders.

One of those consistent quality goods that the Grand River Bakery supplies to Grand River Brewery is the brioche buns used in the burgers. A lot of other restaurants will advertise a brioche bun that isn’t truly authentic, but Arie has made sure to get ours right. Using no artificial colors and using only real butter, not oil, Arie and his baking team craft the brioche buns and let them long ferment overnight to give an excellent crust, a delicious buttery taste, and a hearty consistency. Grand River Brewery needed a great brioche bun to hold up those hefty burgers and sandwiches we serve!

With the expansion of the operation to include several large clients, Arie and the team have taken care to treat every baked good with the same time, attention to detail, and love. In addition to staple items like the brioche bun, Grand River Bakery specializes in a wide variety of goods such as cakes, cupcakes, scones, muffins, cookies, brownies, pretzels, and more. With the holiday season fast approaching, it’s a good time to head down to the bakery to put in a specialty order! The baking team loves to get creative, and they meet every challenge with a determination to succeed and learn along the way.

Next time you’re at Grand River Brewery enjoying a burger or pretzels, truly savor the quality and craft of the bread. Grand River Bakery is committed, as we are, to craft, quality, and community gathering. Whether it’s over a table at GRB or at a special event at home, the Grand River Bakery has what you need!

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