Our Signature Bread
A message from our owner, Sister Michaela McVetty:
“In 2012, I started making bread at my sandwich shop, Fit to Eat. I had never done it before, and it quickly became addicting. The right amount of time to proof each morning - to let it get puffy but not soggy was a very fine line. The right shape - circular, but not too perfect. The right amount of garlic and seasoning - enough so you could taste it, but not so much that it took away from the other ingredients. The right amount of minutes and seconds in the oven for that perfect crispy outside and soft delicious middle.
I spent years perfecting this bread, making it the signature of Fit to Eat. I took a bread hiatus to operate my other ventures, and brought the previously famous bread back to Sisters when we opened in 2016. I was always so happy when someone said "oh my gosh, I missed this bread!" I have never felt the labor of love as much as I have when making and teaching the art of this bread. The Sisters who make the bread each morning are held in high regard - we've learned it's not a task everyone can do. It requires a special finesse, an understanding of the slight temperature variations from one shelf to the next in the oven and an internal alarm clock, otherwise you'd hear a ding every two minutes for five hours each morning. Teaching a new Sister how to make bread was always a bonding experience for me, something I looked forward to. Going in while it's still dark out, blasting our favorite music, and not worrying about anything but making these little gluten babies turn out perfectly.
Over the years, we have grown as a company. We've made changes to accommodate our staff and be able to value them financially so that they can survive with one job while going to school, paying off debt, or saving up for their next adventure. We've made changes to our menu because we truly listen to all of our sandwich lovers, and when you ask, you likely shall receive. The perfect example - I never thought I'd be making breakfast sandwiches.
Growing pains are a very real thing, and it is often hard for me to separate the "emotional" from the "necessary" in business. Every square inch of this place is tied so tightly to my heart that every piece of it feels personal. The realization of our bread conundrum has been building for over a year now, and it's finally time to properly address it before the summer hits.
As you know, our space in Monument Square is tiny. So tiny, in fact, that almost every surface plays double duty. Each counter houses something that you see during the day, and something totally different before we open our doors. Our bread takes over the majority of the work space every morning. It puts a strain on everything else we do, including getting breakfast ready and prepping for lunch. As we get busier in the summer, bread is often not done baking until we're already mid lunch-rush. We've run out of bread on more than one occasion on particularly busy days. This isn't giving you the best experience, and asking the Sisters to come to work at 3 am isn't the type of work-life balance I'm here to promote.
We have tested, eaten, pulled apart, looked inside, cooked, grilled and slathered in mayonnaise dozens and dozens of different breads. We tried finding a Portland, Maine baker who could take the labor of love over for us. We even tried baking at a commissary space. Believe me, we tried everything. I have been determined not to give this up, but reality has hit just in time for us to find what I truly think is the next best thing. Starting next week, we will begin sourcing our bread from Ace Bakery in Massachusetts. They have a delicious herby focaccia that I know you will love. I would like to consider myself a very niche bread connoisseur, and I can tell you that this place is legit. You'll see what I mean - they really know what they're doing and they put just as much care into every single bread as we do.
Listen, I know you're upset. I know you love our old, signature bread. So, before going in and asking the Sisters why we couldn't make it work, please understand that there were SO many factors that led to this decision and it's not one we take lightly. I want to pay all Sisters and Brothers well above minimum wage, I want them to be happy at work, I want our sandwich lovers to be able to afford to eat here multiple times per week, and I want to be sure that we never run out bread at 12:30 PM mid lunch rush. In order to do all of those things, we have to outsource. I hope that you will all understand this is what we have to do to be sustainable and continue serving you peace, love + sandwiches for years to come. Come try the new bread; if you close your eyes you might not even notice the difference ;)
PS: Shout out to Sister Delaney, the only one who has been making bread for 8 years with me, way back to our days at Fit to Eat.
Peace, love and sandwiches,