MYRTLE POINT — Phil and Rebekah Hacker have become familiar names around the community. For the past three years, the husband and wife team have shared their love of bread and baking with hundreds of community members and friends around the south coast.
“We first began baking for ourselves and then a couple of extra loaves for our friends,” said Phil. “It really just grew from there.”
In 2015, the Hackers opened Farmstead Bread, a whole grain, organic, homemade bakery featuring fresh, ingredients found both locally and around the region.
The couple, which operates their bakery out of their 42-acre farm, said their focus lies simply on producing a variety of breads that are both nutritious and packed with flavor.
Milling their own whole grain flour, mixing, folding ingredients, fermenting and shaping dough is in a day’s work for the Hackers. Their new kitchen space not only features a stone mill and a variety of tools and amenities, but also a wood-fire brick oven where all its breads are baked.
“We try to do as much as we can by hand,” said Phil. “We get all of our wholegrain from Oregon and whenever possible we try to get as much local ingredients as we can.”
For its jalapeno cheddar bread, the couple didn’t have to look very far. The jalapenos, which are used from their own farm as well as a few friends in the area, were tied into one of its breads and mixed with sharp cheddar to produce one of its standout loaves.
“Sometimes we look and see which ingredients we’re really excited about putting in our breads before determining what makes it on the menu,” said Rebekah. “The whole wheat is probably our standard loaf and it’s my favorite.”
While living in Jacksonville, Ore. in 2007, Phil, who was working as a ranch hand, learned to bake bread from a family the couple had often shared many meals with.
“I was eating all the bread,” said Phil. “They were making two loaves a week for both their family and us and I was eating so much of it. They were like ‘OK, you should start making the bread’ and they taught me how to do it. It was such a great experience.”
The couple has traveled around the world and for a few years lived in South Korea, where they honed in on their baking skills by building their own oven in their yard and continuing their tradition of baking for others.
In the future, Rebekah said she’d like to expand its bakery’s pastry and baked goods menu. For now, the bakery sells directly to its customers based on its subscription list, where community members can sign up online and place their orders.
On Saturdays, the orders are completed and customers can pick them up at either Myrtle Grove Naturals in Myrtle Point or Oregon Micro Market in Coquille.
Its breads could also be found at Mother’s Natural Grocery and Coos Head Food Co-op, Myrtle Grove Naturals as well as Union Avenue Brew in North Bend. This summer, the bakery also plans on featuring their breads at the upcoming Coos Bay Farmers Market.
The couple said they're excited for the future and what’s to come of their growing business and family, which expanded a year ago with the arrival of their daughter, Hazel.
“One of the reasons we wanted to do something with food is because it’s a nice way to connect with others,” said Phil. “We love sharing our food with people and its good quality wholegrain, sourdough bread that anyone can enjoy.”
For more information on Farmstead Bread, you can visit its website at http://www.farmsteadbread.com/ or call its bakery at 541-735-2872.