It's kind of like our little baby that you get to watch mature and age. It's such a magical thing.
—Joanne Toupin, baker
Bakers are night owls, as we all know. And since Manitoba's provincial bird is the Great Gray Owl, Joanne Toupin and Beau Burton have named their new company Sleepy Owl Bread.
They sell their wares exclusively at the Wolseley Farmers' Market.
A selection of tasty focaccia (Andrea Ratuski/CBC
"Bread is awesome," exclaimed Toupin, unable to mask her enthusiasm.
"Our passion keeps us going. Since the first day we baked I've been on
top of the world. Making bread completes us."
The couple met at Tall Grass Bakery where they both worked before
branching out on their own. Toupin says she appreciated getting to know the
whole of the food service industry there.
Their schedule is grueling. Twice a week they rent kitchen space at Diversity Foods (where Toupin's 'real' job is). Burton starts baking at midnight, then Toupin joins him at 7:30 in the morning after dropping their son off at daycare. They bake all day, then go to market.
Produce from Jonathan's Farm (Andrea Ratuski/CBC)
Local and organic says it all. They love working with sourdough and everything is made from scratch.
Specialties include rustic levain (sourdough); Stirstick Stout roasted garlic (made with beer from Half Pints); hemp multigrain "because we figured we needed to have at least one healthy bread for the Wolseley Farmers' Market," Toupin laughed.
Roasted potato and garlic bread stays moist thanks to the addition of the tuber. They also make a rotating assortment of delicious focaccia as well as croissants and danish.
"It's very rewarding," Toupin said. "It's great to see people's faces light up when they see our booth, or take a bite.
Doc Bailey and Bobby Stahr keep everyone entertained (Andrea Ratuski/CBC)
"It's partly because you work it with your hands--it creates such a personal connection between yourself and your bread. It's kind of like our little baby that you get to watch mature and age. It's such a magical thing."
Sleepy Owl Bread fits right in at the Wolseley Farmers' Market where people also line up for just-picked veggies from Jonathan's Farm and sweets from Jonnies Sticky Buns.