Our Daily Bread co-founder and Limerick native, Robert Meyer, pictured above.
Our Daily Bread the local artisan bakery that rose against the challenges of the pandemic
By I Love Limerick Correspondent Tara Byrne
Our Daily Bread is a small commercial business set up by Limerick natives Robert Meyer and Phillip Geraghty that produces real sourdough bread products for both wholesale and retail markets.
The small artisan bakery evolved during the covid 19 pandemic and learned to adapt to the changing world of business and thrived.
Phillip and Robert are lifelong friends. Robert trained and worked as an engineer in New Zealand for a number of years, but then made a switch to the food industry, becoming a baker, while still engineering but this time engineering food rather than electronics.
‘Our Daily Bread’ originally started as ‘Holy Bagels’, a mobile wood-fired oven that Robert built to make wood-fired bagels. It was set up after Robert decided to come home from New Zealand and pursue a career in baking. For over a year, Robert travelled around to different markets and events around the city and got their name out there until the pandemic hit. When many of the markets had to shut, Rob had no choice but to park up the unit and they began to bake bread out of Robert’s mother’s kitchen in Corbally. From there he progressed to home deliveries, supplying shops and restaurants locally, then moving from Rob’s mum’s kitchen to getting a commercial unit in Raheen. Over the space of 18 months, ‘Our Daily Bread’ grew so much that they received financial backing from the Local Enterprise Office and were able to provide more jobs and expand.
Rob describing the process of making their bread said, “For real good bread, it just takes flour, water and salt. The key difference between how we produce it and how the likes of some of the mass producers produce it is the time it takes. It takes three days for us to make a loaf of bread. We do this natural process where we’ll mix our wild yeast into our Levan and we let it sit, and naturally, it rises with the temperature here in the bakery. Then we put it into the fridge to basically slow down the process, and that’s where the real flavour comes from”.
If there’s one thing the pandemic has taught us, it’s that bread is still very much a staple in our diets. Baking bread from scratch at home became quite the trend and Robert encourages people to bake bread from scratch as it has way more health benefits than commercially made bread. ‘Our Daily Bread’s beloved sourdough bread contains many health benefits. Rob said, “It’s a natural fermentation that has easily as many good minerals and vitamins like B12 occurring in it, it’s good for your gut health. It’s interesting that in the time of a worldwide pandemic, people turned back to bread and looked at where their food comes from. I suppose for us as a business, we are moving more into the future and where we want to stand. We want to continue making really good authentic bread and on top of that, bagels, rustic baguettes and pizzas. We are constantly innovating and improving our product”.
“The one thing that kind of really opened my eyes was people I never thought would reveal themselves in a time like lockdown and get behind us and support us as they did,” said Rob when reflecting on the challenges of growing a business during the pandemic. Describing setting the business up as a rollercoaster, the challenges included covid 19 guidelines, getting the product to different counties and keeping up with the demand for the product. Rob said, “It’s been a hell of a journey with a lot of challenges. I enjoy talking about them because it provides character to our business and is a testament to what we are doing now and that makes it all really rewarding”.
In the last six months, ‘Our Daily Bread’ has expanded its reach to Co. Limerick, Co. Clare and Co. Tipperary and hopes to be soon further afield. Our Daily Bread is hoping to open an artisan store where people can come in and watch the bread-making process in the future. Until then you can find them every Saturday at the Milk Market.
For more information about ‘Our Daily Bread’ go HERE
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