While it’s true that sales for sliced bread are declining overall in the United States, Charlie Negaro Jr. doesn’t see that trend at Atticus Café, the sister business of Chabaso, the artisan wholesale bakery where he serves as chief executive officer. Before taking the helm at Chabaso in late 2019, Mr. Negaro experimented with incorporating local specialty grains into the bread baked at Atticus. The café’s bread sales quadrupled, and Mr. Negaro is preaching that regionally grown specialty grains are the answer to declining bread sales.
“I think consumers aren’t buying boring bread,” he said on Since Sliced Bread.
Specialty grains, he asserted, not only offer the opportunity to revitalize regional agriculture but also create bread that tastes better and provides more robust nutrition.
Scaling up and moving away from commodity flour at the commercial level has not been without its challenges. In this episode, Mr. Negaro shares his experience learning about and supporting regional agricultural from Atticus Café to Chabaso’s wholesale production. In addition, he outlines what farmers need from local, state and federal government and the baking industry in order to grow these ingredients and make a regional agriculture model sustainable.