There’s a reason why we refer to our favorite meals as being, “just like mom used to make it.”
Is this because each and every one of our mothers were masterminds in the kitchen? Honestly, no. Yet there is something irreplaceably valuable about goods being crafted from hand, with care and compassion.
Meredith Corey-Disch and her partner Sarah Bogdanovitch have recreated that “just like mom used to” ambiance in their work, through the production of approximately 500 loaves of sourdough bread every week. Their bakery, Community Loaves, has found a lovely little niche at the intersection of creativity and productivity with the sale of their organic sourdough breads, as well as whole-grain pastries and baked goods.
“When it came to the idea of baking bread, I thought, just go big or go home. Sourdough is the hardest bread to make because it’s not as reliable or consistent,” Meredith said. “When you use yeast bought from the store like with other breads, it’s the same every time and it only takes about two or three hours to make a loaf of bread. With sourdough, you don’t use commercial yeast, but rather a sourdough starter. It takes 24 hours to make a loaf of bread this way, but it ferments the bread and breaks down the gluten so it’s easier to digest, and it just tastes better.”
Yet, the ladies of Community Loaves have done more than just create a great loaf of bread. They have strengthened the ties of the community as a whole. In the beginning, Sarah built Community Loaves on the same ideology of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). Those who partake in a CSA essentially “subscribe” to a local farmer’s goods. Those who purchase these subscriptions are provided with a bag of seasonal produce each week from that particular farmer. Consumers get fresh, seasonal produce and farmers are awarded with financial security in exchange for quality goods.
Meredith and Sarah have adopted this harmonious style of business ownership, allowing for consumers to subscribe to orders of their sourdough bread, hence the name, Community Loaves. With products available at Grassroots, Native Sun and Black Sheep, the pair has made quite an impact on the Jacksonville food scene.
“I needed to be a place where people had a need for a bakery like us, and Jacksonville didn’t have anything like it,” Meredith said.
Maybe it was family that brought Meredith home and into contact with her future business partner after completing school. Maybe it was the river, or the warm winters, which have quickly become Meredith’s favorite thing about Jacksonville. Maybe it was the freedom to hold darling brunches within Community Loaves’ secret garden, located behind their store front on Edgewood Avenue.
Whatever it was that brought Sarah and Meredith together in their dream to make beautiful bread for the Jacksonville community, we’re glad they’re here. We’re especially glad that they make things with care and kindness … just like mom used to.