About Fol Epi
About Fol Epi
When I was 18, I build my first brick oven in my driveway. I was working in a little anarchist bookshop at the time and was very enthusiastic about fermented foods. A man named Adam Nicholson came into the shop and we spoke about the value of bread and community and the role that food plays in pulling us together which is something that I felt as strongly about then as I do now.
Over the course of that summer, he and I built the oven and that's when I really started baking bread. Though it was fairly terrible bread - I loved the process of working with wild yeast and fermenting out dough as well as firing the brick oven. Eventually, I started getting better and so did the bread.
In 1998, I met Erika Heyrman and we worked together selling bread at the Moss Street Market. After doing that for a couple of years, we took the plunge and opened Wildfire Bread and Pastry together in 2000.
In 2004 I started working with a farmer in Vonda, Saskatchewan named Marc Loiselle to bring a heritage variety of wheat called Red Fife back into production.
I left Wildfire in 2005 but continued baking bread, selling out of my basement and at the Moss Street market until I opened Fol Epi in 2009.
The Love of Food
At the end of 2009 I became part of the Slow Food Movement, which initially started as a political movement in Italy but has grown into an international community of people that value local, sustainable and traditional approaches to food cultivation and preparation.
To me, Slow Food means anything from working to preserve regional foods to networking with other people in your area that are really into food, to backyard and community gardening or simply getting together to share food, wine or beer that people are making. Food is a great way to bring people together.
After being involved in Slow Food conferences around the world, it's nice to finally be able to sit down with people from all across Canada that are doing the same kind of things that we are doing here at Fol Epi. It's been a great way to connect with other people that are of a similar mindset.
Despite being called Slow Food, everybody I know that's into it is incredibly busy and working fast. We are all a bit obsessive about food. But there's an understanding that we are all doing the same thing and still contributing as individuals within the community.