Bread Clubs Are Still Going Strong During Quarantine
They’re building community and helping members become better bakers
Megan Goldenberg founded the Huron Valley Bread Club in Ann Arbor, Michigan, last February — and, as it turns out, founding a bread club was right on-trend. Even before the pandemic, there had been a resurgence in bread baking at home, and with the spike in bread baking during the quarantine, the appeal of these clubs is on the rise.
True, members can’t meet in person at the moment. But even so, as the case is for the Ann Arbor club, the over 200 members are reaping the benefits and interacting in creative ways. They’re buying copious amounts of local flour, posting pictures of their baking on social media, and assembling care packages for workers from the mill where they buy flour — since millers have been working around the clock. Goldenberg even sourced einkorn berries for a member’s elderly parents who grind their own flour. She received a heartfelt note from their daughter about how much it meant for them to be able to keep to their routine.
When the club did hold in-person gatherings, they were casual: Topics were guided by members’ requests, including a talk on how the Huron River shaped the area’s milling industry. Goldenberg said that when The New Bread Basket author Amy Halloran met with the group, “the camaraderie, the community, the dialogue was just so engaging. I walked away from it thinking, ‘Oh, this was the perfect thing.’”
“People ask what a bread club is,” said Goldenberg. “It’s whatever you want it to be. It’s fluid, so it’s been really exciting.”
A bread club is about more than swapping loaves: It can help develop the local grain economy by spotlighting heritage grains, foster community, and guide members toward becoming better bakers.
Goldenberg doesn’t even bake bread. She owns a grain-processing business and is a local grain sales rep and the mom of two young kids with a third on the way. She consulted Chicago Bread Club founder and co-director Shulamis Rouzaud before founding the club in response to…