1. Tall Grass Prairie Bread Company
2. Oh Doughnuts
3. Tie: Sleepy Owl / A L’Epi de Blé
The Tall Grass Prairie Bread Company has been around for 25 years. In that time, they’ve expanded to two locations and other ventures, all while making sure they’re treating their farmers, workers and customers with love and respect.
Tabitha Langel, one of the founders, says their bakery is successful because the ingredients are fresh and homegrown.
“The connection to the land comes through in the product,” Langel says. “I think people sense it … I think the authenticity comes through in the product, and it speaks for itself ... what people taste is the prairie.”
Langel grew up in a Hutterite colony, where she would work and bake using the bare essentials. As much as technology advances, the bakery rarely updates its methods, choosing to keep the old techniques and traditions of baking alive.
“We use technology sparingly … appropriately-scaled technology is important to us,” Langel says. “We used to hand roll our buns, we’d all get together and gossip … but when the scale grew to a certain point, and we all started getting tendonitis, we very reluctantly gave it up.”
That connection to the land also influences the business side of the bakery. Tall Grass Prairie considers itself a social enterprise, which to them means making sure they obtain their goods through fair trade.
“Our goal has always been fair trade, fair pay for the farmers, for our bakers,” Langel says. “We’re not going to get rich, none of us are, but that was never the goal. The goal was a decent living for all, in the circle … our goal has always been a livable wage.”
Tall Grass Prairie Bread Company has two locations: 859 Westminster Ave. in Wolseley and at The Forks Market.