I'm so excited to begin this interview series. Over the coming weeks, we will be featuring NEW food businesses, because if you can open a food concept in the middle of a pandemic, you can do anything. It has been so inspiring to see how many people have embraced the unknown to follow their passion. Take a break from reading yet another sad story and find some hope from one of these creative food entrepreneurs!
"In the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity."
Without further adieu, our first interview is with Kat Lewis of the The Free Bake. Over the last few months, Kat has turned her kitchen into a bustling sourdough-focused micro bakery. You are going to love her story!
Let's start with the basics. Where are you from? How long has Denver/Boulder been home? What's your professional background?
"I was thriving in flour with the ability to escape to my own creative realm where nothing could bother me and I was in complete control."
I read on your site that you started baking while recovering from knee surgery. Can you elaborate?
What gave you the idea to start Free Bake?
You operate Free Bake out of your home under the cottage law. Could you explain how that works? What are the challenges of working out of your kitchen?
Sourdough is humbling. Just when you have it figured out, you're thrown a curve ball. Personally, that's been the hardest part in my sourdough journey. All that time and effort for a rock solid loaf! What was your biggest baking mishap? How do you deal with the inevitable failures?
"...crumb shots are ego shots and once I let that go I realized I was actually producing some amazing things."
The pandemic has turned many businesses upside down. Obviously, the restaurant industry has been especially hard hit. It's difficult to see a silver lining, but I have found comfort in watching businesses pivot to accommodate our new normal and it's been especially inspiring to see how many new businesses are sprouting up all over the place. It's so important to find the opportunity in times like this. How has the pandemic affected Free Bake? Would there be a Free Bake without it?
It looks like you sell out just about every week. How have people learned about Free Bake?
What are your must-have baking tools?
What's your favorite thing to make with the discard?
Current baking playlist?
Any advice for new sourdough bakers?
Any big plans for Free Bake on the horizon?
And, finally, where can people get your goods?!?
"I can't stress the importance of talking to your customer and getting to know them as people, it brings everything to a whole new level not only for them but for you."