Saturday, November 5, 2022

Man Does Not Live By Bread Alone

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This little piggy went to market...

In truth, I do this every week. With Marie, of course. She is always looking for the freshest Swiss chard or the shiniest eggplant to include in a recipe she's found. So, each week we visit the local farmer's market in Burke, Virginia to pick up fruit, vegetables, eggs, ice cream (sometimes), and fresh seafood. The oysters we get there are the best I've ever had. It's not the cheapest place to shop, but the items we get are usually much better than what is available in the supermarket. 

Before I continue, I want to note this post will have nothing to do with artwork or writing or any of the things I usually blog about. 

This morning, we glanced into the Baguette Republic stall while making the rounds. I don't usually shop there as we don't eat a lot of bread other than bagels. They don't make bagels. This time, however, my eye spotted a package of lemon ricotta muffins. Something about them appealed to me. We decided they might be good to have during breakfast. 

While waiting in line to pay, I spotted a small olive loaf (boule) to try. While settling the bill, I made a big mistake. I nonchalantly asked of the man working the stall, "Do you ever do rye bread."

"We sure do," he said, pointing to some loaves on a table.

"Oh, I'll have to try that sometime."

"Why not today?"

As he picked a loaf from the table and brought it over to me, I thought he was trying to make an additional sale. But, no, he wasn't.

"Take this," he said. "For free."

"Huh? What? I don't want to be taking advantage here."

"You're not. I'm offering it to you. If we can't share bread, what can we share?"

Dumbfound, I walked away with a free loaf of rye. Not a sample or a half-loaf, but a plump loaf over a foot long. 

The rye bread from Baguette Republic

It wouldn't be so bad except this is not the first time they've given me something free. They deserve to get paid for their wares. A while back, we stopped by to pick up a bag of croissants and a few rolls. It wasn't a large purchase, so I didn't want to use a credit card since the fees are getting outrageous for the vendors (some have a minimum purchase amount posted now). I didn't quite have enough cash with me to cover it. The worker said, "That's okay, just whatever you have."

Maybe it's me. They see an older guy, hair askew and a little disheveled, and they think I'm short on funds. Perhaps I'll start wearing a tie to the market. On second thought, no, probably not...

I know the items they sell aren't cheap, but this is the DC area. Everything's expensive. And it could be they're hoping I'll like the bread and buy more next week. No matter the reason, it's nice to see someone, and perhaps a whole company, that isn't looking to squeeze every penny out of their customers. So, that's why I'm giving them a bit of a shout-out here. 

The lemon ricotta muffin from Baguette Republic

And, yes, the lemon ricotta muffin was really good. It was like eating a fluffy lemon cheesecake. And the rye? I've only tasted a small slice, but it is about the best I've ever had. The crust is chewy and the inside is soft.

Baguette Republic has a website and they also set up stalls in many of the farmer's markets in the DC area. Please check them out if you're in the area.

They also have jobs listed on their website. From what they say, it might be a good place to work. This is from the bottom of their careers page for a packaging team member position:

Why Should You Apply?
    •     Fun, yet professional, work environment
    •     Foot in the door if you are interested in learning a trade and working in the bakery down the road
    •     Three days off per week! (Ideal for college students)
    •     Free bread and cookies!

Free cookies?!? I just might have to apply!

As a disclaimer, I'd like to point out that I do not know the owner or any of the employees of Baguette Republic. I am not an investor in their business. They did not pay me for this article, though if they'd like to I won't stop them!

© 2022 K. R. Smith All rights reserved

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