Our Beginning

An Appetite for Change

baguettes illustration

“You are what you eat!” said French gourmand Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1755-1826). Appreciation for food took on new meaning in the 1960’s when a “countercuisine” emerged. “A coherent set of dietary beliefs and practices, the countercuisine had three major parts:

  1. Avoid processed, “fake” foods.
  2. Make food more fun through improvisation, craftsmanship, ethnic and regional cooking.
  3. Be aware of how your food is produced and distributed.”

The children of the 60’s aspired to bring wisdom and responsibility to the dinner table, and to the global community. Warren J. Belasco in Appetite for Change, writes,

susan copeland

“I see how right many of the intuitions (of the 60’s) were: the need to align private action with planetary needs; the distrust of chemicals and technology; the resanctification of nature, community and tradition; …the enthusiasm for small farms and organic methods; the intrinsic delight in whole foods.”

The Flour Garden Bakery came out of this tradition. Rather than baking with the commercial/industrial methods using manufactured mixes and artificial flavorings, Flour Garden bakes with a special blend of classical European style and a Californian’s awareness of how our foods influence our health. Combining quality and beauty is labor-intensive and time-consuming. Everything is made from scratch. It is much more costly to bake with the finest quality and most nutritious ingredients; but the Flour Garden is determined to produce food that is not only delicious, but also enhances health.

bill copeland

The Flour Garden opened March 16, 1981. It was a fortuitous blend of Bill’s building skills and Susan’s culinary passion. In this, Flour Garden’s 28th year, Bill and Susan are translating their love of fine food into a community wide effort to support local organic farmers. Artisan breads and 12 varieties of bagels are baked with 100% organic flours and grains, including locally grown, organic stone-grown wheat provided by Reed Hamilton at Grass Valley Grains. Organic flours, fruits, vegetables, and other ingredients are increasingly locally-sourced as relationships with local farmers are expanded.

In an effort to promote and support a sustainable local economy, Susan has been helped launch Think Local First Nevada County Foothills. Think Local First is part of a global movement to promote the many benefits of supporting local independent businesses.

Flour Garden Bakery feels a deep regard for our environment. From the first day, Flour Garden has been an environmentally sensitive business, committed to being ecologically responsibility. Glass, plastic, aluminum, newspapers, and cardboard are recycled and no Styrofoam is ever used. Ceramic dishes help reduce the use of paper plates and cups. Energy-efficient lighting is used throughout the café’s and kitchens.

The Flour Garden has grown from three employees in 1981 to 50 employees, and three stores, two in Grass Valley and one in Auburn. Flour Garden’s success is a result of its commitment to artisanal baking, serving the finest quality pastries and coffees, great service, and a dedication to serving this exceptional community.