Scott Baker, founder and president of 5 Generation Bakers, McKees Rocks, Pa., admits that crimp-style cinnamon swirl bread is a bit old-fashioned. While it’s his dream to make it a household name, he isn’t stuck in the past.
The fifth-generation baker is always looking for ways to expand his product line. First there were Chunky Breads, chopping up the iconic swirl bread into a monkey bread-like format. Then came the sticky buns. After that, Mr. Baker was wondering how he could move away from sweet into savory with the round crimp loaf, and 5 Generation Bakers developed three savory varieties: Olive Focaccia, Garlic and Herb, and Tomato Basil.
Mr. Baker’s family swirl bread has always brought joy to consumers, but he started wondering if he could create a bread that was functional. After seeing friends benefit from CBD, he pursued the idea of a bread that could deliver CBD.
“I couldn’t find a CBD that tasted good,” he said of the challenges he quickly faced. “I couldn’t find a trusted source of CBD who could provide an ingredient at consistent potency or guarantee that it was THC-free.”
The project was shelved until July 2020 when he was connected to Hemp Synergistics, a company that offers a Hemp Bake Mix. The CBD is encapsulated, protecting it not only during bakery production but also through the digestive system. It also cuts down on off-flavors and odors.
Through this partnership 5 Generation Bakers developed Hemp Bakers, a line of brownies and cookies that contain CBD. The 2018 Farm Bill, however, ruled that CBD could legally be used only in pharmaceuticals, which bars it from use in food. This has made manufacturing the products difficult.
“We were the right bakery to develop this product, but not the right bakery to scale it up,” Mr. Baker explained.
There are moves at the federal level to reverse this situation, even from the US Food & Drug Administration itself. Until then, Hemp Bakers products are being manufactured by partners in states that have passed legislation protecting the sale of CBD in food.