Oxford is now offering Miami University students a little slice of home-cooking, with a new bakery opening its doors and serving a convenient delivery service.
Kim Coffey, owner and head baker at Loaves-a small business operated straight out of her kitchen in Oxford-bakes and delivers bread around the city to local residents.
Coffey got her start making bread in 2009 when her and her sister-in-law were shocked by the perfect condition of a month-old loaf of store-bought bread. Disgusted by the unnatural baking processes, Coffey said she decided to fully commit herself to researching and experimenting with wild yeast, as opposed to commercial yeast, in order to produce the most natural, fresh bread.
“I do everything by hand, and although it’s a lot of work, what comes out of it can really be appreciated,” Coffey said. “My first loaves were truly awful, it was a huge learning curve.”
The learning curve proved to be worth it once business started to pick up, according to Coffey.
Once Coffey created bread she thought was good enough to share, she began giving it to her neighbors to try. One of her neighbors refused to take the bread without paying her and insisted Coffey she owed her for the treat. This moment prompted her to start the business in 2011.
In order to spread the word, Coffey established a network of friends who were interested in the bread.
The network, which began as an email list and word-of-mouth marketing, really helped get the word out about her business, according to Coffey.
Husband of the baker, Ben Coffey, said his wife’s customers get excited when receiving the bread. He also described his wife’s rigorous schedule, which includes baking every Wednesday and Friday at 3:30 a.m. and then making all of the deliveries.
“There is no comparison in the process of bread making, I had no idea how complex it can be,” Ben Coffey said. “It really is an amazing and evolving process.”
For now, he said his favorite types of bread are Cinnaraisinut and the Vermont Sourdough, which he swears are the best.
Kim Coffey receives email orders for bread as well as apple, cinnamon and blueberry muffins, which she now bakes every week.
Miami professor, Bob Setlock, has been a friend of Coffey’s for many years and is now a devoted customer. According to Setlock, the bread has become a staple of family meals.
“The wild yeast that Kim uses is in part collected in the air, her bread is unique to Oxford and wouldn’t taste the same if it were made anywhere else,” Setlock said. “She does a lot to help people, this is as much a community outreach for her [as] it is a business.”
Currently, Kim Coffey makes nine different kinds of bread and rotates through them based on customer demand. The flavors include Good Graincious, Cinnaraisinut, Vermont Sourdough, Chocolate Cranberry Black Forest of Delight, Olive a Good Thyme, Carried Away Caraway, Oh My Wheat! and Herban Legend.
Upon hearing of the bread business through word of mouth, sophomore Lindsey Crowl said she thinks the delivery service could prove to be useful for Miami students.
“This bread would be great for upperclassman living off campus who no longer have ample access to dining halls and markets…who doesn’t want to eat fresh bread in college? We’ve all grown up eating bread,” Crowl said.
Kim Coffey said she shares Crowl’s excitement, and has growing optimism for the future of the business.
Students and faculty interested in Kim Coffey’s bread and muffins can visit her website at http://www.breadandwood.com/loaves#.