Orange Boot Bakery | Skillshare Projects

Mark Dyck

Bakery Owner and Bread Baker



Orange Boot Bakery

Orange Boot is a small, family run retail bread bakery in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.  This used to be "Mark's Bakery" because of my love of the art and craft behind sourdough bread baking.  But over the last three years we've grown to be a team of 6 passionate bakers making a fresh batch of bread and sweets every morning.

Our bread is made from scratch, shaped by hand, every morning.

We started small.  Very small.   Just me, my wife Cindy, an email list of friends and a backyard brick oven.  As we've grown into our own retail space I've challenged myself to take my customers on the journey along with us.  So we've talked about where we're going and received great feedback about where people want to go next.

But now we're at a bit of a crossroads. The bakery is growing and I'm getting asked to do a lot more than we can handle.  Wholesale to stores and restaurants.  Large orders for caterers.  I worry that I'm turning our baking into a commodity.  Will chasing these opportunities take us away from our core focus, or will they give us the income to pursue our core focus even better?  I say No a lot but constantly second guess myself.

I'm also questioning the core story of what we're doing as a bakery.  There is so much fear about gluten, whole grains vs. white flour, sprouted grain, ancient grains, and the like.  I try to help everyone out, but  I'm not a professional nutritionist by a long shot.  I know a lot about how flour and grain works, though.  More than 99% of people who come into the shop or live in my city.

It feels strange to work on a sprouted grain loaf one month then an extra cheesy croissant the next month.  Am I trying to please everybody? (probably!)  Am I trying to walk the line between "health food" and "decadance"?  Most likely.  Which has me worried.

Now that we're a bigger team, I want to bring the other bakers into the marketing side of things too.  If I'm going to lead I need to be clear about where we're going. What do we stand for?  Where will we draw the line?  What will we do and what won't we do?  

What I Hope To Get From The Course

Clarity.  Tough Questions.  Then even more clarity.  I'm hopeful that as I work through the homework in the course it identify potential conflicts and inconsistencies in the story we tell and the things we do.  

What Can You Expect If You Read Further

I'll work through the exercises and post the outcomes here.  If it all goes well, you'll see how one particular business got their marketing strategy straightened out.  

If it doesn't go well (most likely!) I hope you'll be able to spot problems and flag them so we can discuss.

If (when) I get stuck, maybe some fresh eyes can get me unstuck.

Sound fair?  :)


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