Q&A with Bryan Begg of Bakehouse Bread & Cookie Company

February 20, 2024 by Megan Gray

Mixer, Food Prep

Artisan bread has always been at the heart of Bakehouse Bread & Cookie Company in Troy, Ohio. The bakery has been in business for 27 years with Bryan Begg, head baker and owner, purchasing it from his mother and founder, Margaret Begg in January 2020. With the pandemic hitting shortly after, Begg faced similar challenges that other bakeries and restaurants did. Fortunately, a loyal customer base and an existing retail business model of 45% takeout supported Bakehouse during that time.

Today the bakery is thriving with its offerings of not only artisan breads, but also cookies, muffins, cakes and pastries. A café portion of Bakehouse offers a menu of fresh and grilled sandwiches on the homemade breads, along with soups and salads. Begg relies on Hobart for several of the bakery’s creations.

Q: What do you think has made Bakehouse successful for so many years?

A: It’s definitely our commitment to the process and the product — and product is not just the food we make and sell, the physical item. Our other product is service. It’s our level of commitment to serving the guests in the best, most pleasing way possible.

Q: What is Bakehouse’s philosophy on food?

A: Forming our bread by hand and having minimal, clean ingredients is so important. We want our bread to be nourishing, but also inspiring. The same holds true for all of our products. We are committed to sourcing our all-natural ingredients locally, as much as possible. That includes flour and greens and tomatoes for our sandwiches and salads. And we don’t rush our processes. Our bread takes 72 hours from start to finish. I use my Hobart Legacy+® HL200 20-quart mixer for my preferment to create the base of the dough. So, I’m mixing my Pȃte fermentée and my levains. We make true artisan breads that are naturally leavened, so we are always incorporating those natural yeasts.

Q: What is so appealing to you about making artisan bread?

A: Just to have your hands in the bread every day. The whole process from start to finish is so meaningful and the intentional actions required to get the successful product— from weighing the flour to mixing and shaping the dough to when you can finally take it out of the oven. It is so rewarding and the product that you get out of it is just so nice and so beautiful. If you don't do these things, if you automate this process, you lose the soul of the bread.

Q: Bakehouse is also a cookie company and makes several different sweets. What do you offer?

A: We have five proprietary cookie recipes. The most popular by far is the chocolate chunk. We probably sell 10 chocolate chunks for all the other cookies combined. But we also have a peanut butter with white chocolate, a snickerdoodle, a ginger molasses and an oatmeal raisin. We use the Legacy+ HL200 mixer for some of our bakery items, like muffins and pastries. It works great. I like the Soft Start since it minimizes flour flying out of the bowl when we start mixing. The Shift-on-the-Fly™ is helpful too, because I know that I can change gears while the mixer is operating and I’m not harming the mixer. And we absolutely love the SmartTimer™ since we can count our mixing time down and up and it keeps us on track. I don’t have to worry about overmixing, especially if someone grabs my attention. I feel like those types of features help eliminate human error. If someone comes to me and says they made a mistake, I know it’s never the mixer.  

Q: With service being such a priority at Bakehouse, how would you describe your relationships with your customers?

A: We very much have regulars and they have been so important to our success. I like to think that we have an excellent relationship with them. I’m often tied to the bread table, but I still do my best to interact with our customers and I value their feedback. When we’re so close with some regulars, they don’t want to tell me anything that is wrong. But I want to know because I can’t correct problems if I don’t know about them. I want to provide the best product to them at every visit.

HOBART MIXERS


About the Author

Gray Megan Megan Gray is the product line manager for Hobart – Food Preparation Products. She has been with Hobart since 2017 and specializes in Hobart mixers, specialty and food processing equipment. See all her blogs here.

Tags: Mixer, Food Prep

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