NOTE: If this is your first Breadness Buzz, or if you've been part of our tribe but missed earlier posts, visit the Breadness Buzz Archive here and catch up on this content written especially for you (by me!). It's a great way to meet like-minded artisan sourdough afficionados, like yourself, and be part of this journey I started back in 2016. And now for this week's Buzz...
In search of the perfect Breadmobile...
Back in the day, there was a fleet of iconic Helms Bakery trucks that loaded up with fresh-baked goodies from their ginormous Culver City bakery on Venice Blvd., before spreading out to neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles. When you heard the familiar toot of the horn, it was time to dash outside and try to be the first in line as the driver opened the magic rear doors, followed by the magic drawers filled with heavenly delights! This was a regular ritual and Helms was the only bakery that I'm aware of that had such a fleet. The motto posted on their city-block bakery read: "Daily at Your Door." So when I opened Random Acts of Breadness, I really wanted to have an iconic, head-turning delivery vehicle.
The first one I looked for was an authentic Helms Bakery truck like the one above. But that turned out to not be the best idea for economic and ecological reasons. So I started with a clean slate and discovered MellowVans!
The MellowVans.com website has pictures and video of this unique all-electric "last mile" delivery vehicle. This was the perfect Breadmobile for us! And what made it even better is that MellowVans could custom-skin our vehicle with the Breadness logo and text! So I inquired via their contact form as to how to get one for Random Acts of Breadness. This was in April 2021, before we opened. MellowVans is located in South Africa. The owner of the company wrote me back and told me they were in the process of getting approval for export to the US, and that they were hoping to have that approval within a couple of months. I replied that we were just getting started and would be interested in having one of their units later in the year. A few months went by and I inquired again. Still no approval. This went on even after we opened in August 2021. To date, it doesn't look like they will ever get approved for US export. Bummer...
So I continued to search, and I found this...
This is a Nissan S-Cargo delivery vehicle. Love the retro look! It was made in Japan from 1989 to 1991. It's a traditional gas-powered engine so no ecological advantage, but it's so cute! I found that there are still some around for sale, but NOT in the US! Thwarted again!
I remember around the time I was first looking for THE Breadmobile that Rob, our electrician, told me about a cool-looking vehicle made in Canada.
This is the Solo by Electra Meccanica, an eye-catching, all-electric 3-wheeler with one driver's seat and a bit of room for cargo (but not as much as MellowVans). The Solo came out in 2017 and evolved to a 2nd and 3rd generation model. I hadn't revisited the Solo since about that time so I thought I'd do that this week. I read a really cool review on the Solo which mentioned that the Canadian company had set up a US office for direct orders. But when I visited the company's website, I was greeted with a RECALL of all of their gen 2 and gen 3 models, plus a change of CEO and a new direction that means the cessation of manufacturing the 3-wheel vehicle above in favor of a 4-wheel version. Wow.... I wasn't expecting that!
So there you have it. My search for the perfect Breadmobile continues. Will I ever find that combination of form, function, planet-friendly and priced-right in a package that makes you want to follow that Breadmobile to where it's going? If you happen to know of any possible candidates, please let me know!
We've had a few hot and humid days this past week, but the nights have been chilly so spring isn't letting go just yet. Per the calendar, summer has officially started as of Wednesday so it's time to imagine some cool culinary creations using one or more of the artisan comestibles we feature in our shop. A good place to start is Avocado Toast.
Click/Tap the above photo to access the recipes. The author has done an admirable job of presenting some cool variations on a theme. But the one thing in common is the foundation of artisan sourdough bread, so starting with a slice of Breadness will certainly elevate whatever you decide to put on top!
Had a customer call us asking if we made sourdough hamburger buns. I explained that we didn't but that he should try using slices of our sourdough bread instead. Sourdough grills nicely and adds a nice crunch and chew to the burger. Time for the Patty Melt revival!
And for a cool summer beverage, I recommend a Balsamic Breeze.
You can get this by the cup at Random Acts of Breadness, or you can buy the Balsamic Vinegars we use to create this refreshing, low-sugar soft drink, and make it yourself at home. Fill a glass partway with San Pellegrino Sparkling Mineral Water and add 2 teaspoons of Blackberry-Ginger, Pomegranate, Raspberry, Peach, Fig or Espresso Balsamic Vinegars from Ojai Olive Oil Company. A healthy and hydrating way to beat the heat!
Paying It Forward...
The whole concept of Random Acts of Breadness was to give most of the bread I baked to others. The joy those gifts created was unlike anything I'd experienced before. Many of our customers have done just that, and they come back to tell us about it. But every one in a while, someone does a true random act of breadness right before our eyes! Such was the case when Bruce and Kirsten purchased some Breadness for themselves. There was no one else in the store at the time and Bruce told me to add another loaf to his bill, and give it to the next customer that walked in! Wow... Smiles all around!
The next person to come in was Sterrett Harper, a long-time customer and Frequent Flour Rewards member. It just so happens that Sterrett came in to collect his free Country Loaf for having completed his Rewards card (buy 12, get one free!). So he not only got that, but he got the Pay-It-Forward loaf from Bruce and Kirsten as well!
Start Summer Off in Style!
Come to the bakery this weekend and get your Breadness summer started! We've got fresh Artisan Sourdough Breads (Traditional Country Loaf and Cinnamon Raisin Maple Pecan), Raw Farm Butters, Laura Ann's Jams, Clif Family Honey Spreads, Ojai Premium Olive Oils and Balsamics, Beyond the Olive Tapenades, and Ritrovo Selections Balsamic Vinegars!
Random Acts of Breadness is located at 2214 West Magnolia Blvd. in Burbank (2-1/2 blocks east of Buena Vista on the south side of the street). Come to the bakery and sample our artisan wares, or order on line for bakery pickup, or have Breadness delivered or shipped to your door. You may also order by phone at 818-562-7303 and pay when you come pick it up. We're open Friday & Saturday 12 to 6 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Note: If you (or someone you wish to gift) live within 120 miles of Los Angeles, we can ship on Thursday (via UPS Ground) and in most cases your Breadness Box will arrive on Friday (Saturday at the latest). Place your order before Thursday at noon here.
Enjoy a "slice of life" from Random Acts of Breadness!
From our hands to yours...
Randall Michael Tobin
Artisan Baker/Chef, PC, ACF
2214 West Magnolia Blvd., Unit A, Burbank, CA, 91506, United States of America
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