The story of our bread begins many years ago in kitchens far, far away. Growing up in Sao Paulo, Brasil Blaine was fortunate to always have access to magnificently fresh bread. The local neighborhood padaria (bread bakery) offered hot bread, straight from the oven twice a day and Blaine's mother’s oven often produced the weekly sandwich bread the family would consume. To this day the aromas of hot, crackling bread wafting through our home are still some of the most nostalgic, harkening back to those fond memories of mornings spent in line with neighbors waiting for the first bake of the day or of gathering around the dinner table with friends and family. Bread has always connected us to the people we love most.
by Blaine Davis
In college, my best friend Joshua Hicks lent me a book called Bread Builders, written by Alan Scott, a man who revolutionized wood-fired bread ovens and European hearth-style bread in this country and Daniel Wing, a retired medical doctor. Half of the book is about the biology and chemistry of bread, and the other half is about wood-fired ovens and the relationship between breads and the ovens that bake them. Needless to say, I was intrigued and would go on to purchase my own copy of the book and read it many times over the ensuing years.
For the past decade, I’ve dreamed aloud with my wife, Karin, and my brother and sister in law, Tim and Lindsay, and pretty much any one who would listen about building a wood-fired brick oven. Two years ago, sitting in Tim and Lindsay’s living room we started dreaming together, scheming through hypotheticals, daring to ask “what if?” We decided that we would build an oven together, that we would bake bread together, that we would make it our mission to feed Tyler the best bread the city had ever tasted. And in the midst of this “togetherness” we would forge a space for people to belong, to be fed, and to find family.
And so we broke ground in December of 2013 and began building an oven. Tim and I had never built an oven before, let alone poured concrete or laid bricks, but we were open learn, and have discovered that bricks are best set one at a time, and that patience yields its own benefits. Through many long weekends and the help of faithful friends, we fired our oven and began the curing process in November of 2014. We held our first pizza event in December of the same year and began preparations for the launch of what would become Sola Bread Co., Tyler’s first wood-fired naturally leavened microbakery.
December 2014 also brought an expansion to our family. Tim and Karin’s younger brothers, Tommy and John Patrick moved to Tyler to join the team. They both work for BellaCor Paint, Tim’s commercial/residential painting firm as well as working with Sola Bread. Each is a vital part of our current operation and future dreams. We are rich in family and so grateful to work with people we love. Family is the basis for life, and we have chosen to live life together.
Sola Bread Co. came to life in April 2015 as we brought our first loaves to sell at the Rose City Farmer’s Market that is graciously hosted by Juls Restaurant on Old Jacksonville Road in South Tyler. We honestly didn’t know how the Tyler market would receive naturally leavened hearth bread, but we’ve been pleasantly surprised at the warm welcome and have been abundantly blessed by the friends and community we have gained along the way.
Our ultimate goal is to move beyond the Cottage Law industry and establish a brick and mortar location with a much larger wood-fired oven. We would love to bring the concept of the local, neighborhood bakery to life in Tyler, TX. However, we want to grow sustainably, in line with demand, and not outpace ourselves. Maintaining high quality and a balanced lifestyle are our standards for growth. We hope that you will join us as we dream, as we grow, and as we eat. We hope that you will become a part of our family and that someday we can break bread together.