Tell us about Jamesport Sourdough & Coffee? How did your business begin?
Our bread business began simply from sharing homemade sourdough within our community in the North Fork during the pandemic. We couldn't socialize normally so sourdough became our work-around to meet families of our childrens' classmates, who we only saw in passing at drop off and pick up. Friends and then friends of friends started asking whether they could buy the bread. The farmers at the farms we volunteer at encouraged us to sell it. It was this perfect union of forces that resulted in starting our business. A silver lining to the pandemic for us. If we had to pinpoint a single eureka bread moment during this time, it's when our five year-old son’s friend asked for seconds of our bread instead of dessert. After all, kids are the most honest critics, so that was a particularly encouraging sign that we were onto something special.
What are the first three things you do on a typical morning here on the North Fork?
Brett: Mornings are hectic The sourdough business has only amplified the craziness. On most days we start at 5am to shape the bread by hand into individual loaves. Our goal is to finish before the kids wake up, but that rarely works out. After the bread is finished, my mornings are centered around 3 things: (1) Making Ana’s latte and my quad shot iced latte. This often involves testing a new roast batch or potentially even new beans. (2) Moving the chicken tractor as well as open the stationary coop run for our two sets of chickens. (3) Making breakfast for the family (which usually involves bacon from 8 Hands or our own handmade bacon). We love bacon!
Ana: The first thing I do when I wake up is check the company instagram on my phone. Then I head downstairs to make the kid’s lunches for school or camp. It usually involves cooking. When that’s ready I bring any food scraps leftover from the night before out to the chickens and look into the garden to see what can be incorporated into our meals that day. I usually drink the coffee that Brett makes me while moving through activities and I also take a probiotic and herbal tonic every day if I remember.
How would you describe your coffee? I know you’re an espresso household. Can espresso beans be used in a pour over or drip machine -- asking for a friend ;)
Our coffee is dark and chocolatey like the roasting profile favored by Pacific Northwest coffee houses. The feeling that we hope to convey is the coziness of a neighborhood coffee shop where you and your loved ones can find some time to escape and recharge. Technically, any bean can be used in any brew process. However, based on how a bean is roasted, and eventually ground, it will work better in certain processes than others. For example, just because someone has labeled a bean an espresso bean, it likely just means that the bean works really well with espresso style extraction. Some espresso beans will still work really well as drip or pour over. I am pretty sure most people that buy our High Tide beans are actually using a pour over or drip machine.
While I am not a coffee expert by any means, I would look at the roast level (light, medium, or dark) and the tasting notes rather than if it is labeled as espresso or not. Follow the roast level and tasting notes you prefer, then grind it to the appropriate grind for the style of coffee you are making.
Let’s Talk Chickens: Who’s your favorite? Are you looking out for any little bird in particular? Tell me about the coop. It’s beautiful. Prettier than any I’ve ever seen. Did you build it? What’s the story here.
Ana: Every family member has his or her own favorite chicken but as a whole we love the Isa Brown chickens (a type of breed). They’re so friendly and love to be pet. We also have Polish chickens, which have large poufs of feathers springing up from their heads. One of the Polishes was attacked by a hawk and she survived. She’s the one that we look out for because her reflexes are slow now. She’s also quite funny because she used to be at the bottom of the pecking order but now she becomes aggressive with other chickens when they try to assert their dominance. I guess one silver lining is that she’s learned to stand up for herself.
Brett built the coop! It’s his most complex builder project to date. He basically watched a ton of youtube videos about other people’s coops and designed one that combined all the aspects he liked. He studied architectural engineering in college so this was a good real-life application moment for him.
What are you growing this summer in your garden?
Not enough! We hit the basics though - sugar snap peas, cucumbers, lettuce, carrots, radishes, turnips, onions, garlic, kale, collards, tomatoes, watermelon, cantaloupe, peppers, strawberries and we also have some medicinal herbs.
How has this place, The North Fork, informed your business and lifestyle?
Ana: In the North Fork we have authentic relationships with our food and community in a way that was not possible until we moved here. We purchase our milk from a raw milk farm where we can meet the cows (Ty Llwyd), our eggs come from the chickens that we raise, our vegetables come from our own garden and farms where we volunteer. The bread that we used to bake for ourselves has become a small business that nourishes members of our community. Living here on the North Fork, we are part of a community of people who are passionate about high quality food and environmental stewardship.