'A perfect storm': Baker loses loaves after Yellowknife power outage

Kyle Thomas who operates With Bread, a popular micro-bakery at the Yellowknife Farmer's Market, says he lost 30 loaves of bread worth about $250 due to Tuesday morning's power outage.

Operator of With Bread lost 30 loaves due to a city-wide power outage Tuesday

Kyle Thomas operates With Bread, a micro-bakery in Yellowknife, and sells his wares at the weekly farmer's market during the summer months. (Submitted by Kyle Thomas)

The man behind a micro-bakery in Yellowknife says Tuesday morning's power outage has affected his business. 

Kyle Thomas operates With Bread and sells his wares at the weekly Yellowknife Farmer's Market, which takes place on Tuesday evenings at the Somba K'e Civic Plaza. 

Because of the city-wide power outage, Thomas says he lost 30 loaves of bread worth about $250. 

"It was kind of a perfect storm-type situation. It's very warm out so the dough was rising a lot quicker than it normally does and then almost serendipitously the power went out as I was trying to get another load into the oven." 

On market day, Thomas says he spends all day baking 70 loaves of bread plus specialty items like focaccia, buns, mini-loaves and personal pizzas. This means a tight schedule with little room for error.

Kyle Thomas says on the day of the Yellowknife Farmer's Market, he spends all day baking 70 loaves of bread and other baked goods. (Submitted by Kyle Thomas)

Because of the outage, he says the affected loaves sat for too long before they could be baked — meaning they didn't rise like normal when they did go in the oven. Thomas's oven is gas powered, but he says the fan that circulates the heat relies on electricity. 

"I fully understand that power outages happen. It's just very unfortunate that it happens on the one day a week that I need the oven almost consecutively for eight hours." 

While With Bread isn't Thomas's only source of income, he says it is important financially as he dedicates a full work day every week between June and September to the endeavour.

"I wouldn't do it if it wasn't, essentially, financially sustainable." 

Although Thomas says he was "not super stoked" about the loss of loaves, the impact of the power outage wasn't as bad as he initially expected. He was able to bake most of his bread but says he plans to sell them at a reduced cost. 

"It's still baked, it's still bread, it's still good, it's still nutritional, it still tastes good, it's just not at the quality that I like it at and the quality that I think people expect." 

Yellowknife residents have experienced several power outages this summer.

But Thomas says a previous power outage on a Tuesday that lasted about 15 minutes wasn't an issue for his business because the weather was cooler. 

He also says he "can't complain too much" about the outages as his business operates once a week. He says he may purchase a small generator so he doesn't incur further losses if the power goes out on another warm Tuesday.