meet the baker
Mike wasn't always a baker. He started his career as a chef in his home state of Wisconsin, where he also attended culinary school in Milwaukee. Cooking led him to travel around the US, working for ski resorts and national parks. Not only did he focus on his career, but he also enjoyed life to the fullest. Working the AM shifts and then summiting mountains afterward. Not only did he fall in love with the rivers and mountains, he learned how important and fragile the planet is. He saw how wasteful the restaurant industry is and he decided to leave it behind. His opportunity came with him meeting a young woman named Monika, who would eventually become his wife.
Monika is originally from Slovakia and when they got married, Mike was instantly ready to move to Europe and build a new life. Instead of cooking, he became an ESL Teacher. His only experience was that he could speak English fluently. This was no problem for his students though. His passion and drive to learn made it easy for them to accept and learn with him.
This leads us to the sourdough. While living in Slovakia, Mike started noticing the traditions and simple lifestyle of the locals. Especially when it came to bread and pastries. Bread wasn't just something to fill in the space, it was a requirement to a meal. The small villages all had small bakeries where everyone got their fresh loaf. He described it as being a part of the community. You can meet the local people making the products, instead of wondering how long ago this was made. Or for how many months will this last before it goes bad? When it was made fresh, you just ate it fresh and then restocked when needed. Eventually, Monika's sister decided to start trying to make sourdough. Mike was also curious about sourdough and how it's made, but never had the chance to find out. That's all it took. He bought the Tartine Cookbook and went to work. Needless to say, his 1st bread, or his 25th bread for that matter, was very eye appealing, but the flavor and way he felt after eating it was all he needed to try and perfect it. Day after day he baked and studied and tried new techniques until progress was made and he created what you can buy and enjoy today. His passion for delicious and healthy bread can be seen by just having a conversation with him. Don't be afraind to let him know what you think, or ask him a question!