One of the greatest gifts that owning a Bakery has given us, has been to cultivate the next generation of bread and pastry bakers from our little corner of Wyoming. Over the years, we've apprenticed both novice and experienced bakers who have then taken their skills to open spots of their own. Here are four places to keep on your radar and visit next time travels take you to Mexico City, Colorado, Oregon and South Carolina.
Mercedes Bernal and Rodney Cusic opened Meroma just this past fall as a true labor of love. The couple both studied at the International Culinary Center in New York and then trained at top restaurants around the world. A stint for Rodney at the former Cakebread Ranch brought them to Jackson Hole and lucky for us, Mercedes took the role of Pastry Chef at Persephone. They've now opened a stunning restaurant in Mexico City to showcase their home country's bounty of beautiful ingredients. Meroma has been featured in Food & Wine magazine and is quickly becoming a hotspot in Mexico City's buzzing food scene. We got to visit last month and were treated to a beautiful dinner, in which they used Persephone Wildflower Honey — what a total treat.
BLUE GROUSE BAKERY
The Western Slope of Colorado is now home to Blue Grouse Bakery, opened by former Persephone baker Ben Rossman and his cousin Hannah in 2016. Ben caught the baking bug shortly after moving to Jackson Hole and realized his true destiny to be a baker, not a doctor (thankfully for us). Both Hannah and Ben are passionate for the traditional way of baking bread, using local, organic grains, freshly milled on site, and old-world bread baking techniques on a stone hearth. Blue Grouse's breads have a cult following and can be found in markets and restaurants in and around Telluride.
SILVER FALLS BREAD COMPANY
Dan Literas honed in on his true passion - perhaps with some help from his time at Persephone - making beautiful bread and feeding his community. Nostalgic for the days when bread was made from just flour, water, salt, Silver Falls Bread Company focuses on Dan's passion for traditional bread making, with an emphasis on routine and simplicity over technology and tools. His bakery is open to the public Wednesdays and Saturdays and his breads are stocked at several locations in Silverton and Salem.
SC BAKE ROOM
Wade Taylor spent five years living in Jackson and learned the art of baking bread (otherwise known as waking up at the wee hours to make the same thing every day) at Persephone Bakery. He traded the mountains of Wyoming for South Carolina and the opportunity to open his own wholesale bakery – SC Bake Room – in Greenville. Wade is crafting traditional, naturally leavened breads and pastries (like a divine Cinnamon Brioche that got a shout-out in Bon Appetit) for hungry locals, who snatch his goods up at restaurants, Farmer's Markets and at the Bakery on Saturday mornings (if you're lucky to grab something before they all sell out). Our loss is certainly South Carolina's gain.