28 February 2013

Strap Pans

When Kevin and I started the Montclair Bread Company, the previous owners left stacks and stacks of strap pans for us to use.  A strap pan is a set of four, or more, loaf pans, strapped together and used for baking rectangular loaves of sandwich breads.  My baking style is European free form and I don't have much need for strap pans.  Sure, there's an occasional brioche loaf but not 182 brioche loaves.  My staff was getting really annoyed because they had to step over (trip over) these pans daily.  They wanted me to get rid of them.  After all these years in the baking business, I knew the value of the pans and I was determined to find a good use for them.  

At the same time, I was urging Kevin to build retail shelving so I could better display our wares.  I asked him if it was possible to hang the old strap pans and create a shadow box effect.  He got to work.  The pans had 20 years of carbon built up on them.  Kevin scrubbed them down to their original splendor before he screwed them to the walls.  

02 January 2013


It's been just over a year since my last post.  I've resolved to communicate more this year, with my family, with my friends, with my customers and with you.  Life has been a little crazy since October 2011.  Here are the highlights...

November 29, 2011 - We welcomed Malachi Abel into the world.  He was born at our home in Montclair, NJ with our wonderful midwife, Jessica Lawlor.

January 30, 2012 - 'Bread for Moms' group established.  My husband and I started a bread distribution for our friends to pick up loaves for their families once a week.

March 22, 2012 - After the urging of my Bread Moms, I tried to secure space to sell my breads at the local farmers market but I was told I couldn't because there was already a bread vendor - The Bread Co, Montclair.

March 23, 2012 - One of my Bread Moms told me about a local bakery for sale, a sale which included a space in the Montclair Farmers Market.

March 26, 2012 - I inquired about the sale of The Bread Company in Montclair.

April 23, 2012 - A group of local investors formed Montclair Bread, LLC to purchase and operate the previous Bread Company.

May 2, 2012 - Kevin and I officially took over as owners of the Montclair Bread Co.

May 13, 2012 - MBCo started selling bread at the Red Bank Market.

June 2, 2012 - We started selling bread at the Montclair Farmers Market!

June 26, 2012 - Josie's 4th birthday.

August 3, 2012 - Our ciabatta was recognized as one of the 10 best picks at the Montclair Market

September 22, 2012 - Keegan's 3rd birthday.

October 13, 2012 - Our Carrot Raisin Nut Muffin won the idea prize at the 5th annual America's Best Raisin Bread competition.

November 29, 2012 - Malachi's 1st birthday.

January 1, 2013 - The reinvented Montclair Bread Co was recognized as one of the best of 2012 by Hot From The Kettle.

It's been an exciting (exhausting) year.  Can't wait to communicate more exciting news with you in 2013!