The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sad Day at the Bakery :(

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mcs's picture
mcs

Sad Day at the Bakery :(

I know some of you have been following my posts since before we were legal (Eric, David, Pat, Paul, Mini O, Floyd of course, and several others).  A few months ago I shared the happy news about the bakery's four year anniversary.  Today, it's a sad day at the bakery.  Today, November 16th was my last day for baking and delivering here in this place known to many folks as The Back Home Bakery. 

If you've interned here, you know the feeling when you're working with your 'last baguettes' or making your 'last batch of pain au chocolat'.  You think to yourself, 'This is the last time I'll be shaping on this table...'  It's really a horrible feeling, especially when you're faced with the task of later delivering to your loyal customers and telling them face-to-face that this is the last delivery.  Their faces drop.  Then they ask, "Do you have friends or family where you're moving?"  I answer, "No.  No, I don't."  Silence.  

To put it bluntly, Sharon and I are parting ways and when your business is in your home that you built with your own two hands (literally), this is not a simple task.  It's complicated, painful, and very sad, all at the same time.  In less than two weeks I'll be moving about five hours away from here to new territory in Bozeman, MT.  I want to stay in this beautiful state and I believe that area has just what I'm looking for.  

It's best to start fresh, and so I will be doing my best to regroup and begin anew.  I have a new plan and a new project underway and I'll be happy to share it with you when it gets a little bit more developed.  I assure you it will be like none other.  This time around, it will be known as 'Sinclair's Bakery'.

Anyway, as I've recently told my friends, I'm not the type who usually asks others for help.  But if you're the type who would like to offer some moral support during these difficult times, I would definitely appreciate it.  Thanks.

Edit:  January Sinclair's Bakery update here

-Mark
http://TheBackHomeBakery and soon to be Sinclair's Bakery

proth5's picture
proth5

If you need some slave labor intern time (You know that I love washing dishes!)  - you give a call y'hear?  I've still got all those frequent flyer miles and I still love me some sheeter...

You don't have friends in Bozeman now - but you will - you will.

Take good care of yourself and your feelings and I'm looking forward to a second fourth anniversary...

(raggedy baker) Pat

mcs's picture
mcs

You know once things get moving along, I will be hunting looking for skilled labor to share the duties.

Thanks.

-Mark

yozzause's picture
yozzause

A sad day indeed  for your clientelle as well as for yourselves personally. i wish you both good luck on your new journey's even though you will be taking different paths. I'm sure Sinclair's will flourish with new customers and new enthusiasm.

We will still look forward to hearing from you and sharing the baking adventure.

Kind regards Yozza  from Aus

mcs's picture
mcs

I'll be sure to keep you and the folks updated on the progress of the new adventure.  Thanks.

-Mark

Gail_NK's picture
Gail_NK

Mark,

Call up my friend Sue at Amaltheia Dairy in Belgrade (just outside Bozeman). They make amazing goat milk cheese - maybe something you'd like to use. They are also big in the Montana Organic Association - a bunch of really, really wonderful people.

Good place to connect to good food people!

Gail NK
GoodFood World.com

mcs's picture
mcs

The places that I'm looking at (for living) are actually in Belgrade.  I will give Sue a call and will definitely check out her goat milk products.  Thanks a bunch Gail.

-Mark

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

Mark, you have always been so special to TFL! So sorry to hear your news but I know all of your friends here will be wishing you well. Please keep us updated as your new plans develop, take care, AnnieT.

mcs's picture
mcs

You know without TFL, the bakery would've had a much different direction and shape.  I began making videos for my friends here on TFL, and all of the interns that have come through here were met on TFL.  Thanks to Floyd and many of the bakers here, for supporting me and my work for the last 5 years.

-Mark

wally's picture
wally

I'm happy to hear that you've decided to make lemonade out of lemons.  It's been close to 40 years since I last drove through Bozeman, but I remember it fondly.  You've got a university there (made somewhat famous by an ex-faculty members book, "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance"), and, so I hope, folks who will appreciate and support the wonderful artisan breads you craft.

Best of luck!

Larry

mcs's picture
mcs

...but we drove through Bozeman about 20 years ago, and had a similar fond feeling about it.  It's going to take a lot of work, but then again baking always takes a lot of work, and I think that town has the right mixture of people for me and the business.  Thanks Larry.

-Mark

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

Best wishes Mark.

mcs's picture
mcs

Thank you.

-Mark

gmabaking's picture
gmabaking

Sorry to see that you are going through this very rough spot. Wishing you all the best in your journey towards a new life in a new city.

Have enjoyed reading about your bakery adventures and look forward to reading much more from your new location.

mcs's picture
mcs

Thanks for the thoughts and your words too, gmabaking.  It is most definitely a rough spot, but I will keep you updated on the new adventures as they develop.

-Mark

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

to help once you get settled but she doesn't travel well - or do dishes.  She keeps the floors lickety spit clean though and knows how to stay out from under your feet and when to run from the kitchen and hide from the master :-)  Wishing you the best and understand why you love Montana and baking - a good combination Bozeman will soon enjoy.

mcs's picture
mcs

but it sounds like you need to keep that apprentice of yours.  Take it easy and thanks.

-Mark

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I'm really sorry about the bad news but happy you are looking forward and have an exciting plan for the future. I look forward to hearing the details when you are ready to share them.

I'll be thinking of you and sending positive thoughts and feelings.

David

mcs's picture
mcs

You're going to like this idea and you'll be especially happy to see how it shapes up.  Thanks for the positive thoughts.

-Mark

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Dear Mark,
I hope everything goes well for you in your new place . I wish you the very best for your bakery, and for the future.
 - breadsong

mcs's picture
mcs

I appreciate your kind words and well wishes.  I will keep you and the folks posted about the future.

-Mark

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Hearts take time to heal so I'm wishing you plenty of healing and new adventures.  Pace yourself and take time to get out and watch the sun rise on occasion.   Take in the new raw energy from your new surroundings and rejoice in familiarity as well as the differences.  New ideas are coming your way.  (Did that sound like a fortune cookie?)  (Yes, that sounded like a fortune cookie.)  Never-mind,  point that shiny handsome head of yours to the sun and draw in some vitamin D.   I mean it.  Work hard and pamper yourself as well.  We got your back.  :)

mcs's picture
mcs

Perhaps your past or future was/is in the fortune cookie business.  I will take your advice and have a little down time before things get into full swing.  Don't worry.  My shiny head will be covered with a hat, so I don't know how much 'D' I'll take in, but we'll see.  Thanks.

-Mark

LindyD's picture
LindyD

I'm so sorry, Mark, about the disarray in your life.  While emotionally draining and uncertain your circumstances may be right now, things will get better.

You don't have to reinvent yourself since you're already doing work that you love.  That's a plus and so important for body and soul.  Your work will help you over the rough spots and reassert the success you've already enjoyed.

And while you may be saying goodbye to Kalispell, you're saying hello to Bozeman.  You have friends there, as your TFL friends travel with you.

Can't wait to hear about your new plans and to shout out a big welcome to Sinclair's Bakery when you announce its opening!

Be well and take good care of yourself, first and foremost.

mcs's picture
mcs

Drats is the censored version of what I've been saying a lot around here recently.  Baking is my thing and once things get moving along more, I will be happy to share the direction and scope of the new project.  Thanks Lindy.

-Mark

jannrn's picture
jannrn

Well Mark, the news of your split is very sad indeed....for yall and for your customers...but the good news is the new plan you have and I am SURE the new bakery will be a huge hit! I am sure the folks in Bozeman will embrace you and your incredible abilities with much love and welcoming! As Mini said, you will be set up in no time! Do take time for yourself and heal. Personally, I have watched MANY of your videos and am so grateful for the things you have shared and I have learned from you! God bless you and the roads before you. I look so forward to hearing about your new life and adventures! Thank you for the gifts you have given to me with your help and encouragement! 

Jann

 

mcs's picture
mcs

I'm glad you have benefitted from the videos.  Did you now that each of the videos that I made was for someone in particular?  All of them came as a result of a question or discussion here on TFL (except the sticky bun video which I made for my mom).  Keep up the baking and thanks.

-Mark

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Mark,

This too shall pass.

Good thoughts and warm wishes to you.

Jeff

mcs's picture
mcs

Thanks for the thoughts and wishes Jeff.

-Mark

Wild-Yeast's picture
Wild-Yeast

Hi Mark,

Call it a personal "Black Swan" event [highly improbable but high impact events that in hindsight are fully explainable] - then move on.

I have a hunch you'll do fine in Bozeman - you have all the right stuff for success.

Count me in as a supporter of the new "Sinclair's Bakery"...,

Wild-Yeast 

mcs's picture
mcs

Thanks for the support and also for keeping this place active.

-Mark

mariana's picture
mariana

dear Mark,

I am sorry about the bakery and about leaving behind the place you called home for so many years. I am sorry.

You have friends. You have friends all over the world, thousands of grateful people who learned how to shape and bake great breads using your tutorials. I am one of them.  I am in Canada, a friend from Israel told me about your tutorials and now russians from many countries in the world shape their breads just like you show us on you videos. Thank you!

you can count on me for any kind of support.

It will get better with time and your bread will only get better with time and please you more and more with time. I find that when change is imposed on us, when it is particularly painful and unpleasant, it's god's way to give us not what we want but what we need to be better, happier, more fulfilled and satisfied. In the end, Everything will be all right, Mark. And if it is not  a l l right right now it's because it is not the end.

yours,

mariana.

mcs's picture
mcs

Thank you for your kind words and for sharing your experience too.  I'm happy to hear that you've benefitted from the tutorials, and in turn have benefitted from making great bread.

-Mark

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Best wishes to both you and Sharon as each of you move on to your next chapter.

-Floyd

mcs's picture
mcs

Thanks for your words and for TFL.

-Mark

Mebake's picture
Mebake

I join all the preceding emotions, and hope that what you built with your bare hands, will translate into something better, much better than what you had hoped for in Kalispell. I also second Mariana's post above, every single word of it. God has his ways of trying people, but i'm sure you are aware that he watches over us, and wants what is best for us.

I have learned from your shaping videos too, very helpful!

Best wishes to you, and hope to hear news of your plans,

Khalid 

mcs's picture
mcs

I'm glad that you've also learned from the shaping videos.  Thanks for your thoughts, words, and also for being an active part of the positive atmosphere here at TFL.

-Mark

 

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

It's wonderful you have a plan, and are moving on and making the best of this very difficult time.  

You have a lot of friends wishing the very best for you.  Life will get better, happy and normal again.

Sylvia

mcs's picture
mcs

Thanks and I will keep you and the others abreast of my plan as it gets further along.

-Mark

FlourChild's picture
FlourChild

So sorry to hear you're going through a rough patch.  Best of luck in Bozeman and can't wait to hear about the new Sinclair's Bakery.

mcs's picture
mcs

When I get through the rough patch and into the new place, I'll post some pictures and give you an update.  Thanks.

-Mark

isand66's picture
isand66

Best wishes Mark on the next chapter of your life.

As one door closes another one always opens and for someone as talented and passionate about what you love to do I'm sure your new venture will be a success.

I look forward to hearing about your new adventure when you are ready to share.

Regards,
Ian

mcs's picture
mcs

I'll be working on looking for and opening those doors during this new venture.  Thanks for your thoughts.

-Mark

gmagmabaking2's picture
gmagmabaking2

I am confident that you will have great results with your new bakery in Bozeman. Live Well. I agree with the statement that God opens new doors. He wants you to live "abundantly and prosper", with support like that you can not fail. People change, lives change, stuff happens. Having a plan is a good focus on the future. Prayers for you and Sharon through this transition into a different reality.

Diane
 

mcs's picture
mcs

Thanks for thinking about the both of us during these difficult times. 

-Mark

Thaichef's picture
Thaichef

Good Morning:

  You don't know me but I am your TFL family.  I am always read and follow all your post here.

 I am very sorry to hear about what happening but know that God may have another plan for you. Please be strong and know that many people here  are your friends and we are confident that you will be up again and be the very best baker as you have been.  My prayers are with you to day and for your future.

Mantana

 

mcs's picture
mcs

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers and for being part of this very supportive family here.

-Mark

Gail_NK's picture
Gail_NK

Mark, 

It's been a couple of years since we spent any time in Bozeman, but one of the first things I noticed when we were there was the lack of really good bread! Go for it and knock 'em dead...

Gail NK

GoodFood World

mcs's picture
mcs

Every place can use some really great bread, right?  That's what I'm 'betting the bank' on.  Thanks again.

-Mark

Patf's picture
Patf

with your new project, hoping you quickly rebuild your life.

I've had so much help from your videos, very grateful.

PatF.

mcs's picture
mcs

I'm very happy to hear that you've enjoyed the videos and found them helpful.  Once I get situated and comfortable in the new place, I'll make a quick video to give you and the others a tour.

-Mark

yy's picture
yy

Mark, I've been following your TFL posts for a while. While it saddens me to hear the news, I am also optimistic because you seem to be an individual woven of very strong fabric. Without a doubt, your talent, warmth, passion and work ethic will carry you through this difficult time. I'll be sending good thoughts your way and looking forward to the day Sinclair's Bakery opens its doors.

mcs's picture
mcs

Thanks for your optimistic outlook during these difficult times.  With the support of you and others here at TFL, it certainly makes the journey more doable and satisfying.

-Mark

Skibum's picture
Skibum

Sorry about your difficult personal situation.  I don't know if this applies to you, Mark, but Big Sky is quite close to Bozeman and offers great skiing!  Bake in the early am and ski the pm, or hike, paddle . . .  or vica versa, time wise.  Best of luck in your new venture!  The country surrounding Bozeman is a great country to spend time outside!

Brian

mcs's picture
mcs

It's been a few years since I would consider myself a skibum, but we certainly moved to Montana to take advantage of the outdoor activities like hiking, snowboarding, climbing, and snowshoeing.  Now's the time and I will be sure to spend some time doing these in the near future.  Thanks.

-Mark

joyfulbaker's picture
joyfulbaker

Mark, your participation in TFL and your BHB videos and offerings have been such a help to me and to many in this virtual "family."  I wish you everything good in your new life and venture and hope you and Sharon can remain friends.  My husband and I visited Bozeman long ago on a trip to Yosemite and bought a large wall clock in a tiny shop filled with ticking clocks, run by a wizened old clockmaker.  It was rescued in 1920 from a fire that destroyed the old Canyon hotel, and the clockmaker fixed it up good as new.  It's ticking away in our family room right now, over 40 years later!  So I think Bozeman represents good craftsmanship and continuity, and you are bound to bring both with your new bakery.  Much luck!    

Joy

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Mark,

I am a relative newcomer here but yours were some of the first bread baking videos I ever watched.  (I still use your method for shaping boules....I prefer to avoid batards....)  I have always been impressed by your willingness to share here with all of us AND run your business.  While I do not know you personally I have had a glimpse into your life here via comments by others and all the intern 'reports' after people here have spent time with you.  With that in mind I can't imagine that you won't prosper in your new home though your circumstances are not what you would have chosen. 

Years ago I heard a speaker define a blessing in a way that I had never heard.  His definition was that 'a blessing is something that takes you from the tips of your toes to the top of your head and turns you completely inside out.'   I was glad for that definition when I ran into an unexpected wall in my life.  Not all blessings feel good.

Take good care of yourself as you venture forth into this new chapter in your life.

Janet

Bahamas Baker's picture
Bahamas Baker

Dear Mark,

I am looking at your post, I may not be able to relate to what you're going through, but I know it must be tough. All I could offer is advice my father always gives me whenever life becomes difficult, which is "take it like the cook serve it". This means life sometimes give you something that is unsavoury, but you must swallow your pride go through it and make the best of the situation. I just heard of you through another member of the fresh loaf, while searching for a baking internship. I looked through your videos and also your products, and was greatly impressed. You are great at what you do, and I can see you are passionate about artisan bread. That is your gift and dont let life stop you from doing what you were put on this earth for. Whenever you reopen your bakery I would like to intern there, to get concrete experience of not only the art of making artisan bread, but also opening a new bakeru. Im 24, from the Bahamas, and recently graduated from the American Institute of Baking, and want to shadow you to get a solid introduction to artisan Bread making. It would be a pleasure to speak with you over the phone. God bless you sir and again stay strong.

Antonio

Ruralidle's picture
Ruralidle

Hi Mark

I'm sorry to hear your sad news and I wish you and Sharon all the very best for the future.

Your postings on TFL are always of great interest and your videos and pictures very helpful.  To hear how your interns learn about baking in a commercial environment and develop their skills under your tutelage has a most enjoyable series of post.  I do hope that Sinclair's Bakery does well and I look forward to your progress reports here on TFL.

Good Luck with the new venture.

creekside cabin farm baker's picture
creekside cabin...

Mark,

Paula and I are saddened to hear the news. We wish you and Sharon the best on your new paths. We visited with you at your home & Bakery the end of May 2011, as we were visiting with my sister in Kalispell and wanted to meet you. At the time we were living in Las Vegas, but have since retired and moved to our West Virginia farm, www.creeksidecabinfarm.com. The video's we purchased are highly valued as I hope one day to begin baking as a local provider to our local folks and farmers market. I will continue to follow you and look for your expert advice. We both wish you well on your new endeavor.

Bill and Paula Guinazzo

P.S. I have been a silent Blog Stalker for over two years here on TFL and hope to contribute when I am finally able to begin my baking adventure.

occidental's picture
occidental

Mark,

Being someone who has enjoyed some of your baking last I was in Kalispell I can say you will definitely be landing on your feet when you hang out your shingle in Bozeman.  I hope the personal side of things work out for you as well.  You picked a great spot to start the next chapter.  I'll be looking forward to future posts.

-Ed

breadforfun's picture
breadforfun

Mark,

Good luck in your new ventures.  We've never met or communicated on TFL, but it was through this site that I discovered your tutorials.  The shaping videos especially were invaluable when I first attempted to make rustic breads, and seeing how it is done helped me make progress.  That you did this while running a working bakery is no small feat.  I hope you can keep the website up for the benefit of other beginners.

-Brad