During our Freedom & Unity weekend we were fortunate to have the opportunity to visit Jed Mayer of Rupert Rising Breads at his home/bakery in West Rupert. Few have had the chance to see Jed work his magic in person and it was truly an amazing experience to hear him talk about the process and the work that goes into baking his delicious bread. Jed has been baking his naturally leavened, organic grain bread in a custom designed and built wood fire stove since 2003. Jed bakes three days a week, baking roughly 220 loaves on each of those days . . . all by himself. The kitchen he works in is small and cozy, with each element set up exactly how he needs it to be in order to work as efficiently as possible. For example, the work table was built to a height that coordinated with the stove. When you watch Jed work, it is one continuous movement. Jed specializes in old world fermentation and baking techniques. He has maintained his sourdough starter with such care and dedication that he hasn’t taken a full vacation in years. It requires constant observation. Although over the past 10 years, he has adapted his recipes slightly in order to make them even more unique. And even more delicious. He cracked open a freshly baked loaf for us while we were there and I swear it was the best bread I had ever tasted. I had had some of his bread in the past at local restaurants, but eating a loaf directly from the oven is another story. What I appreciated most about visiting with Jed was listening to him talk about how much he loved what he does for a living. He mentioned that one of his proudest accomplishments is that his children know their father loves his work, every day of it. He hopes that this proves to be an example to them that they can also pursue their passions and make them a reality. His passion for providing affordable delicious bread to the community three days a week is incredibly admirable for an individual. I hope that if you do visit Southern Vermont, you make it a priority to locate and procure a loaf of Jed’s Rupert Rising Bread.