Our crack HR team caught up with Bread Dude to do an exit interview after hearing about his decision to leave Noonday Bread. Here’s how that went down.
So we hear that Series 45 is the last hurrah for Noonday Bread. What’s up with that?
What is up with that?
You’re starting early with the whole “I’ll answer your question with a question” thing.
Hey, you have to play to your strengths.
OK, but Bread Fans will want to know what led you and the crew to stop baking. Especially after the whole TEDx talk you did on how you love bread and all. Did you fall out of love with bread in just one year?
Is the Pope German?
Really?? That’s where you’re going with this?
No I’m serious. I keep forgetting who the current pope is. They change so often. But I like them because they wear white uniforms just like me.
I think he’s Argentinian. But you digress. What should we tell the peeps?
It’s pretty simple. We still love making bread and we adore Bread Fans. But most things in life come to an end at some point. We wanted to go out when we still loved it and when our Bread Fans still wanted more. We think it’s that time.
This project was always about learning as much as possible from a small-scale business. We’ve milked A LOT of learning out of Noonday Bread over the years.
How long have you been doing this anyway?
Let’s put it this way: when we started, our boys were still sopranos. Now they’re taller than I am and one is in college.
Really? That long?
Yup, when we end, it will have been seven years since we sent out an exploratory survey to some of our friends before building the website and doing a soft launch. That’s 45 series, approximately 180 baking dates, and thousands of Bundles of Joy.
OK I have to ask you some typical HR questions because that’s what they teach us in HR school. Let me see… What did you most enjoy about Noonday Bread?
Where do I start? We loved beautiful mounds of dough being turned into enticing loaves through the choreography of a happy team backed up by a grooving soundtrack. We loved introducing hard-to-get varieties of bread to people who otherwise have to buy plastic-wrapped lies in supermarkets. We loved meeting hundreds of people in our community that we wouldn’t have otherwise known. We loved partnering with Marti the Cookie Lady and John and Mica at Cook, Cork, and Fork.
But most of all, we loved the look on Bread Fans’ faces when they cradled their super-fresh Bundles of Joy. If we could bottle that moment…
Wait… are you tearing up, Bread Dude?
(Pause) That’s just flour in my eye.
OK… erm, what did you enjoy least about your time at Noonday Bread?
OK… moving right along. My HR manual says I should ask you about the strengths and weaknesses of your supervisor. I guess that means The Boss?
Do you want to say anything about your team?
Our crew absolutely rocks. Think of it this way: since they were in elementary school, our boys have woken up earlier on Saturday than on school days. They’ve washed hundreds of dishes, cracked thousands of eggs, shaped thousands of loaves of bread.
After those first couple of years, we got to work with many friends and Bread Fans in the kitchen – too many to name. But over time we had a faithful all-star crew that included Bekah S., Mati K., Rebecca H., and Ed D. We developed a lot of gluten together.
And The Boss? This never would have happened without her. She did everything from purchasing materials to printing labels for bags.
What’s next for the Bread Crew?
First, we’re doing a massive last series as a farewell tour. We’re jamming the most demanding and popular breads into one series as a mic drop of a finale.
Then I’m retiring to sit by a pool in Barbados.
You’re in freaking HR. You know I don’t have that kind of money!
No, The Boss and I have some new creative ventures we’re cooking up. We plan to teach occasional bread classes at Cook, Cork, and Fork. And the Crew will probably get together often on Saturdays to bake in our wood-fired oven. Bread Fans may even get the occasional tweet with the offer of a free loaf.
So is this the end of Noonday Bread FOREVER?
In the words of an old song, forever is a long, long time. It’s for sure the end for now. But I could imagine picking this back up in the future as an every day business. Believe me, in the board room of my mind it’s all mapped out…