Meet the Crafters: Gold Island Bakery

November 30, 2018 | Halifax Crafters Society

For our final installment of Meet the Crafters we are really going to get your mouth watering. One of the many reasons that our craft shows make you smile is because there are so many yummy things to go along with your beautiful crafty purchases. Food is art after all! From chocolate and preserves, to coffee and sweets, we’ve got it all. This winter we are thrilled to welcome back Jess Ross and her incredible baked goodness! She has been so busy in her kitchen baking away to prepare for the show, but she was kind enough to take a little time to give us the scoop on Gold Island Bakery.

Jess is originally from New Brunswick but lives in Hants County these days. She makes incredible (and we mean incredible!) whole grain sourdough breads and pastries in a wood fired oven. She will also be serving up soup and sandwiches at the show “I’ve been baking for ten year” Jess tells us. After spending a year working and learning in a few German bakeries she decided to start Gold Island Bakery. “That experience got me started on this whole journey — and gave me the love and knowledge of rye.” What she wants you to know about about bread is simple. “Eat good bread! Flour is not poison.”

We asked her to tell us a little more about her sourdough and what makes it such a mighty bread! “Starting a fire in my oven gets the whole process started, followed by dough making. Sourdough breads are two-day doughs. And the process is long.” While mixing, shaping, and baking the dough is a long enough venture in and of itself, Jess adds extra depth to her process that you’re sure to taste. “I bake my bread in a wood-fired oven. I chop my own firewood to fuel the creation of my goods. The stone oven weighs 15000 lbs.”

It’s a lot of hard work and love that goes into her product. But Jess finds it rewarding. “Knowing that I am making bread that is going to fuel people’s daily lives while being delicious, sustaining, and healthy is the best thing! Choosing to do things the way I do means there is a lot of value in my product that people don’t necessarily see.”

And what inspires her to put that extra effort into her baked goods? “I’m most inspired by the earth. Making bread is a practice that unites many processes of nature and achievements of humanity.” Here at Halifax Crafters we totally get that depth of process, and it’s one of the reasons Jess is so excited to join us. “I love being among people who put such care and creativity into their goods,” she says.

Okay, we’re sold! Make sure you come say hello to Jess this weekend and grab a few loaves of local love, as well as soup and sandwiches!

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