Bakers are inherently generous.
It comes with the magic of turning flour and other ingredients into gifts to be shared. As the nation reeled from the murder of George Floyd last month and awoke to the depth of danger Black and other people of color face on a daily basis, the #bakersagainstracism bake sale was born. Launched by three Washington, DC bakers—Paola Velez, Willa Pellini, and Rob Rubba—this call to action spread like wildfire, and became a global movement to raise money for Black-led groups working for justice.
Since flour is one of our middle names, the Artisan Grain Collaborative had to join. Inspired by Ground Up Grain, a mill in Western Massachusetts that led a big bake sale in their region, AGC hatched a plan. Through the support of the Chicago Region Food System Fund, AGC purchased all-purpose flour from Meadowlark Organics to support #NeighborLoaves bakers and others in the region who wanted to participate. Bakers in our area also used flour from other AGC member mills, including Janie’s Mill and Baker’s Field Flour and Bread.
Sample treats offered in BAR bake sales (L-R, top): Black Cat Bakery, Elemeno & ORIGIN Breads, Lost Larson; (middle): Petal & Moon Pastry, Muddy Fork Farm & Bakery, One More Piece Pastries, Petal & Moon Pastry (bottom left and right), plus a special loaf from Madison Sourdough (bottom middle).
A group of Milwaukee bakers including Black Cat Bakery, One More Piece Pastries, and Neighbor Loaves bakery Stone Creek Coffee—organized by Chef Katie Simpson—collectively raised $8,480 for Love on Black Women.
In Madison, WI, Elemeno & ORIGIN Breads teamed up to raise funds for The Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness, which works to support the health of Black women and girls.
Chicago bakers Lost Larson, Floriole, and Petal & Moon Pastry (formerly Pain de Chicago) raised money for the Urban Growers Collective, a local Black-led nonprofit organization that manages urban farms on 11 acres of land in Chicago with the aim of increasing food security and sovereignty. Floriole also donated to Brave Space Alliance. Evanston-based Hewn donated sales of Alfajores Cookies to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
Bloomington Indiana's Muddy Farm & Fork Bakery baked for La Crosse, WI-based chef Adrian Lipscombe’s 40 Acres & a Mule Project (read more about this below). Muddy Fork has also been donating to Southeastern African American Farmers Organic Network and Mississippi First; we will feature Eric and Katie’s work in our next edition of The Crumb.
In Minnesota, Doughp Creations and Baker's Field Flour and Bread also baked for the cause. This roundup doesn’t begin to include all of the bakers that lent their time and talents to support the Black projects and businesses in their communities last month. What we hope it does do is show the breadth of the coalition that came together behind this important initiative. Across the country, the bake sale raised more than $1.6 million for Black-led organizations and justice initiatives.
AGC looks forward to continuing to support farmers, millers, and bakers as they participate in this annual event and others in the future. Thanks to everyone who came together to make it happen.