Just shy of three years ago, Josey Baker and that is his real name was delivering sourdough loaves to S.F.’s Gravel & Gold boutique, pick-up point for his bread subscription service.
Soon outgrowing his own oven, he turned to Pizzaiolo’s wood-fired beauty, then Mission Pie’s, late at night and early in the morning. “That’s when the bread business took off,” he says. In the summer of 2011, Jeremy Tooker of Four Barrel Coffee asked if he wanted to collaborate on a Divisadero cafe. To prepare himself, Baker set out for Chico, where master baker Dave Miller was his mentor. He drove up weekly, for three days each, to mill and bake.
Today, the enthusiastic Baker just wants to share how “pumped up” he is, especially with the on-site milling program. Inside The Mill, a day’s production runs about 150-250 loaves, 100-150 cookies, jars of granola, and, naturally, slices of coffee cake. There’s sourdough, and rye, plenty of hearty whole grains, and the popular treat from the get-go has been…toast. “It’s the best bread we know how to make. By keeping it really simple, we’ve been able to make something most people haven’t had before.” 736 Divisadero St., S.F., 415-345-1953; themillsf.com.
Written and edited by Alison Clare Steingold
Photographed by Colin Price