“We are all about stuff that’s just so good to eat, so good for you,” said Laurel Ferster, co-owner of The Calico Baking Company based in McCauley. Together with co-owner Zinovia Hardy, the partners believe their connection to the land makes their baked goods part of a bigger cycle.
They’ve had their share of challenges, like when the delivery driver dropped their oven off the back of the truck in 2014, significantly delaying when they opened their business, and putting extra financial pressure on them.
“Even though there’ve been some real struggles, I love it,” said Hardy. Calico Baking Company baked their first batch of bread in January 2015. Using only locally sourced grains, flour and ingredients, Hardy and Ferster strive to produce the highest quality baked goods.
“I want to be offering something that’s good, it’s good for the people, good for the environment, good for the community, good for the farmers and good for Alberta,” said Ferster. Coming from families of settlers, both women have a personal connection to farming in Alberta. Being locally sustainable is one of the bakery’s core values.
Calico offers freshly baked artisan bread, croissants and scones. “Primarily, our focuses are bread,” said Ferster. However, they are open to suggestions. “We just wanna be making good products,” said Hardy.
Their baked goods can be found in different farmers markets throughout the city. They also provide catering for tea parties, office breakfasts or lunches and offer delivery service through phone order.
“It’s a whole part of the bigger cycle,” Ferster said. They believe that their baked goods represent products of the nutrients from the fields, efforts from the farmers and millers, and artistry and dedication from themselves. The quality depends on every part of this bigger cycle. Calico is determined to develop a culture of environmental awareness and social sustainability one baked good at a time.
Irish Soda Bread
- 1 C (340 g) organic unbleached wheat flour
- ½ C (160 g) organic stoneground whole wheat flour
- ¼ C (21 g) milk powder
- 1 tsp organic cane sugar
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- 3 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 ¾ C (454 g) buttermilk
- 1 C (170 g) dried fruit (raisins)
Mix dry ingredients. Add buttermilk and mix gently until dough almost comes together. Add in dried fruit. Shape the dough into a ball using ample table flour to prevent sticking. Sprinkle liberally with flour and place on baking sheet lined with parchment. Divide the round into four quarters using a dough scraper.
Bake at 475 F for 15 minutes. Reduce oven to 450 F and bake for 15 minutes more.
Where to find Calico Baking Company:
9501 – 111 Ave
You can also find them at farmers markets:
French Quarter Grand Market
Sundays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
8627 Rue Marie-Ann Gaboury
Strathcona Farmers Market
Weekends, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
10310 83 Avenue
University Farmers Market
Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Student Union Building (SUB)
8900 114 Street