1. Tall Grass Prairie Bread Company
2. Stella’s Café and Bakery
3. Jenna Rae / Sleepy Owl (tie)
“On a journey, bread is never heavy.”
That Russian proverb hangs on the wall next to one of the most appealing corners in The Forks Market.
The Tall Grass Prairie Bread Company, which started as a local and organic bakery in Wolseley, has stuck true to its values for 25 years.
Tall Grass Prairie started its journey in 1990 with the simple idea of making bread for everyone. With all the hardships local farmers faced during that time, when the grain prices were the lowest that Canada had ever seen, the bakery’s goal was to work together, forging a unique union that’s alive to this day.
“We can afford to bake with complete organic (ingredients) because it’s a farmer and us,” Tabitha Langel, one of Tall Grass Prairie’s founders, says. “(Our) commitment to organic is rock solid.”
Environmental sustainability isn’t the only reason customers visit the bakery. The goods are delicious and among Tall Grass Prairie’s most popular items are the famous cinnamon buns, Winnipeg Folk Festival cookies, and of course a wide variety of breads.
“I think what we didn’t realize, and the customers also didn’t realize, is that if you mill fresh, the taste is better,” Langel says. “I think through the whole local food movements, like farmers’ markets and bakeries like ours, people are connecting and it’s wonderful.”
Tall Grass Prairie has two locations in Winnipeg – one in Wolseley (859 Westminster Ave.) and the other at The Forks Market (1 Forks Market Rd.) – and the owners are determined to stay local. They hope to inspire others to open their own businesses.
“We’ve had many, many offers to franchise. I don’t think you can be local if you franchise,” Langel says. “Our way of franchising is to help other bakeries start.”