ST. CLOUD (WJON News) -- The popularity of artisan bread doesn't appear to be slowing down anytime soon. A new report from Technavio Plus says the bread market will continue to expand over at least the next five years.

Travis Harjes is the co-owner and head baker at Backwards Bread Company in St. Cloud. He says they've been making a lot of dough since he founded the company with his partner Liz Meyer back in 2016.

They offer between 50 and 60 different products, but as for their artisan breads, there are a couple that stand out.

We do a lot of sourdough.  There's a lot of desire for good sourdough bread. We do a whole wheat sourdough with all ingredients, it's just wheat, water, and salt. So it's simple ingredients, organic ingredients, and wild ferment.  That's kind of our niche I would say.

Harjes says their honey-cracked wheat pan bread is also a big seller.

Backwards Bread Company
Backwards Bread Company

He says they are making over 600 loaves of bread every week to keep up with demand. There are only about four hours a week when their building is empty.

Their bread is a three-day process to make from start to finish. That compares to about a four-hour process for mass-produced breads.

He says one reason why the artisan bread market is growing is because people are more conscious about food and its importance for health.

People are starting to get curious as to why they are not feeling well, and a lot of times people find out that heavily processed foods are the culprit.  A lot of people don't want to just get rid of bread from their life because it's hard and it's delicious.

Harjes says artisan breads primarily use simple high-quality products made by hand.

Backwards Bread Company
Backwards Bread Company

Besides their retail store at their building off 33rd Street South in St. Cloud, they have 30 different vendors that carry their products from restaurants to coffee shops, to food coops.

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Backwards Bread Company employs 15 people.  He says as for future expansion of the business, it would be nice to have a regular presence in downtown St. Cloud besides just at the weekly Farmers Market, but their headquarters will always stay in south St. Cloud.


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