Trying to change the world through food. This idea is growing in our community as food entrepreneurs, farmers, and consumers alike are acknowledging the power of breaking bread together. At Field & Fire, Shelby and Julie Kibler are working hard to make sure that the bread we are breaking is made with quality ingredients, wood fired, and delicious.
Shelby and Julie started the Field & Fire bakery four years ago with a commitment to making artisan bread using organic ingredients. As their business continues to grow, notably with the addition of their cafe last year, they have found that their ability to evoke change in our community spans much further than creating a high quality product for their customers. They are finding that their ability to support local growers and cultivate a unique work culture for their employees are important aspects of building their business.
Over the years, Field & Fire has built a work culture that they take great pride in. This culture serves to attract talented employees who identify with the greater mission of Field & Fire.
“I like to think of us as the “cool” bakery in town. Is that ridiculous?" says Julie. "Really though, I think our culture of health and sustainability is something young people can get behind. We also like to be a little edgy, pushing toward the inappropriate at times. It’s fun. I feel like that energy attracts young folks with similar ideals to join our team. We like to curse and not take ourselves too seriously.”
In addition to caring for their employees, Field & Fire is currently working to create opportunities to support our local growers. They recently began milling local flour in house and are looking forward to building relationships with more farms so they can begin to have additional organic grains grown for them.
“There is somewhat of a renaissance happening in the bread world, and we are on board with that for sure," remarks Julie, "The longer it takes for flour to go from grain to bread, the less nutritious it becomes. We’re milling grains to bake with the same day! It’s incredibly exciting.”
Fall is a beautiful season in West Michigan as the air becomes cooler and leaves on the trees transform from green to orange, red and yellow. With West Michigan being home to the Fruit Ridge – one of the best fruit-growing regions in the world – there is an abundance of orchards and farms to explore and plenty of apples and fresh cider to enjoy during the fall season.
This year’s event, presented by Brewery Vivant, showcased over 30 local food and beverage vendors – all highlighting staple and seasonal treats.