Farm to Market Bread Co. is baking more bread each day to better serve Kansas City as businesses and the community adapt to the global pandemic.
“We want to be a source of stability and community. What we’re focused on doing right now is helping to feed people in KC,” says Farm to Market vice president John Friend. “We want to reassure everyone that the local food supply chain is working. We are delivering fresh bread every morning, and in some cases, leaving back stock to be replenished in the afternoon.”
Returned and cancelled bread orders originally destined for restaurant clients in recent days have not gone to waste. Farm to Market donated this bread to its existing nonprofit partners like Operation Breakthrough.
“We have always donated our unused bread, so this is basically an extension of that program,” says Syvenna Siebert, director of sales and marketing. “We’ve also been working with the Crossroads Community Kitchen organized by our neighbors at The Rieger. In the last four days, we estimate we’ve donated about $10,000 worth of bread.”
Farm to Market has no plans to slow down operations. Rather, the hometown bakery has bolstered daily production. “We are open and baking, and plan to stay on that course,” Siebert says.
On a typical day, Farm to Market produces about 500 loaves of sourdough to sell in grocery stores. Now, the bakery makes 1,500 loaves daily. “We haven’t yet seen how much people need now that they will be staying home. We’re trying to find the ceiling and get a handle on what we need to send moving forward,” Siebert says.
Despite the recent bump in baking, the company’s overall production will decrease, as concerns about coronavirus created widespread disruption. Local government officials mandated that restaurants, taverns and other businesses temporarily cease dine-in operations. About 60 percent of Farm to Market’s business is wholesale food service. “That has all but disappeared for the time being. So we have the capacity to bake more for retail sale,” Siebert says.
Prior to the market disruption, Farm to Market bread was available in 44 grocery stores and online through Shatto Home Delivery and Amazon Prime/Whole Foods. The bakery has added five additional grocery stores that will start receiving bread deliveries by this weekend if not sooner. Additional stores in Kearney, Gardner, Lee’s Summit, Overland Park and South Kansas City will soon begin carrying Farm to Market bread.
“We’re in the position to respond quickly because we bake daily and deliver our own product. We can help these local stores meet the increase in demand,” Siebert says.
Farm to Market also encourages the public to uplift restaurant businesses and their employees. “Please continue to support your favorite local restaurants, however you can do so safely,” Siebert says. “Farm to Market Bread Co. has been a partner for local restaurants in Kansas City for nearly 30 years. It is unreal to see the impact this is already having on them.”
The full list of stores carrying Farm to Market bread is available online.
Farm to Market Bread Co., farmtomarketbread.com