Growing up in a Manitoba farming family, Cora Wiens came by her love of food honestly.
“I remember one winter we had a freezer full of berries that we had picked. I think I went to home ec class and learned how to make pie crust. Then I just made pies all winter.”
Now, at 28, Wiens has developed a uniquely tangy, crisp and chewy fermented crust at Eadha, her “hand-powered Sourdough Micro Bakery.”
Wiens began Eadha two-and-a-half years ago in the ovens of a church commissary, serving up a two-loaf menu at local farmers’ markets. After a brief stint baking off-hours at a pizza joint, she now leads Winnipeg’s sourdough revolution from a storefront in the West End.
Uniquely, there is no trace of commercial yeast in the bakery. Everything is fermented – from the ever-expanding list of breads to the coffee cake.
“I think the next (starter) will be a gluten-free one. I’m going to use local millet flour and ferment that.”
Having been a culinary nomad herself, Wiens regularly opens her kitchen to those who need it.
“Operating a food business without having a location is terrible. Now, we have this space and ... I’m like, ‘Let’s share it.’”
The kitchen hosted Helpful Beans for a taco takeover earlier this month. Though they usually focus on chocolate, the company also grows heirloom varieties of corn in Manitoba with which they make their authentically processed tortillas.
Wiens also finds ways to engage the bakery in valuable community initiatives. Eadha is donating the profits of its Dec. 1 pizza party to the development of a new QTBIPOC resource library in
“I like the idea of inviting (my customers) to be involved in a community where they’re infusing their money in ways they didn’t know they could or weren’t accessing. I want to create a food business where ... people can spend more money, and it’s going to go not to the business’ profit, but to people who need it.”
Published in Volume 73, Number 12 of The Uniter (November 29, 2018)