Ancient grains are hip again 2

Out with the new, in with old. Moxie Bread Co. is taking pastries back in time.

When you think “guys day out,” your mind might not immediately jump to “bakery,” but give Louisville’s family-friendly Moxie Bread Co. a shot for your next lads-only excursion. (Bonus for all you fathers out there: there’s a sandpit on the back patio that will keep kiddos entertained for hours as you relax at the handmade wood tables.) Andy Clark’s three-year-old bakery has been making an impact in the baking world: Moxie’s heirloom grain-only baked goods earned the baker a James Beard Award nomination for Best Baker.

“It just feels like it gave validation that we’re doing something right,” Clark says. “We have a ton of pride in what we do, we believe deeply in this bakery, in our community and our staff.”

If you’re scratching your head wondering what is meant by heirloom grain, don’t worry. Here’s the rundown: these ancient grains fell out of fashion in the ’60s when scientists created a crop that had triple the yield compared to the ancient form of the grain. Clark says that he was intrigued by heirloom grains because of the increase in gluten intolerance in recent years. Try with care, but Clark says that he’s met many customers whose gluten intolerance wasn’t triggered by the bread at Moxie: and he thinks it’s because of the grains.

You can’t go wrong with any of the sandwiches on the menu, which all come on the heirloom grain ciabatta, but it’s the pastries that really shine. Heirloom grains are notoriously more difficult to work with than the flour that you’re used to on the grocery shelves. But you would never guess that after one bite of the flakey and buttery kings egg pastry which holds a savory mix of egg and veg or the sweet kougin amann, which is filled with different seasonal fruits when baked every morning.

As far as Clark can tell, that James Beard nomination went beyond just the exceptional texture and taste of their ancient grain goods.

“I think we were nominated for sum of all the parts,” Clark explains.

When everything comes together: from the cozy and welcoming atmosphere, the great food to the amazing customer service provided by long-time front-of-the-house employees Amedeo Negrini and Keely VanBank, customers go from strangers in a line to friends (and occasionally employees).

And that care and customer service extends up to Clark himself.

“I’ve been working as a baker since high school,” Clark says. “I have this deep sense of pride and responsibility of feeding people. It feels really good to know that I’m making the bread that you’re putting on your table to feed your family.”

 

Stop by and say hi: 641 Main St, Louisville, 720-420-9616, MoxieBreadCo.com.