Calgary·Food and the city

Artisan baker returns with Grainz Bread Shop, swaps Inglewood for Foothills Industrial Park

Bread baker Teddi Smith, who previously brought her naturally fermented bread to the masses at her bakery in Inglewood, is back in the baking business.

'A third of the city works out here. People really appreciate finding us'

After teaching aspiring bakers at Lester B. Pearson High School for three years, Teddi Smith is back in the baking business with a new shop in the city's southeast. (Julie Van Rosendaal/CBC)

Bread baker Teddi Smith, who previously brought her naturally fermented bread to the masses at her bakery in Inglewood, is back in the baking business.

Her new space in Foothills Industrial Park, Grainz Bread Shop, picks up where the bakery left off. Smith gave up her Ninth Avenue shop three years ago to teach aspiring bakers at Lester B. Pearson High School.

Known for her crackly crusted artisan loaves, Smith makes most using a three-day method and a sourdough starter she dehydrated and put into hibernation years ago, then coaxed back to life when she opened Grainz in February.

Known for her crackly crusted artisan loaves, Teddi Smith makes most using a three-day method and a sourdough starter she dehydrated and put into hibernation years ago, then coaxed back to life when she opened Grainz in February. (Julie Van Rosendaal)

There are loaves of all shapes and sizes; baguettes, ciabatta, rye, round boules mounded with cheese. Most are made with her wild fermented sourdough starter, and some with a traditional poolish.

She sources her flours from Grainworks in Vulcan, Alta., and Heritage Harvest in Strathmore, Alta..

'Picked up where we left off'

Smith said she chose a space in the southeast Calgary industrial park because of its more affordable rent and concentration of people at work. And because the space was brand new, all she had to do was decide where to put everything.

"It's like we just picked up where we left off," she said. "We walked in and never missed a beat."

It's a busy quadrant of the city, and with the soccer centre nearby, a hockey rink, and a trampoline park scheduled to open in the same cluster of shops, Smith said she's getting customers outside of regular work hours as well.

Besides the bread Teddi Smith has become known for, Grainz also makes beautiful pastries, an assortment of cookies, pies with a delicate lard crust, and some of the best cinnamon buns in the city. (Julie Van Rosendaal/CBC)

The shop opens its doors at 7 a.m. for anyone wanting to stop in en route to work. Besides the bread Smith has become known for, they also make beautiful pastries, an assortment of cookies, pies with a delicate lard crust, and some of the best cinnamon buns in the city.

There are stacks of homemade jam, calzones and daily specials — plenty of sweet and savoury things to grab and go. Visitors are excited to find a "real bakery" in an area typically dominated by chain stores and restaurants, she said.

Bakery brings variety 

"It's $20 per square foot cheaper out here — I couldn't afford $50 per square foot anymore," she said of the space, which looks surprisingly like her previous bakery in Inglewood.

"Besides, a third of the city works out here. People really appreciate finding us — and I've been surprised to learn that a lot of my old customers from Inglewood actually work in the area."

“It’s $20 per square foot cheaper out here — I couldn’t afford $50 per square foot anymore,” said Smith of her choice to swap Inglewood for the Foothills industrial park on 72nd Avenue SE. (Julie Van Rosendaal/CBC)
Having taught baking and professional food preparation at Lester B. Pearson, Smith was able to hire some of her student bakers as apprentices in the shop.

"I get to work with a lot of really interesting kids," she said. "It's just us, baking from scratch daily, and doing our thing."

Grainz Bread Shop, 5330 72nd Ave SE, 587-620-8850, grainzbreadshop.ca

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Julie Van Rosendaal

Calgary Eyeopener's food guide

Julie Van Rosendaal talks about food trends, recipes and cooking tips on the Calgary Eyeopener every Tuesday at 8:20 a.m. MT. The best-selling cookbook author is a contributing food editor for the Globe and Mail, and writes for other publications across Canada.

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