Create • Inspire • Journey
by Rachelle Eason
Born and Bread Bakehouse
Local Love in Lakeland, Florida
Born and Bread Bakehouse is one of those places that you see in social media or in the movies and say, “I wish we had a place like that here.” Well, we do!
Born and Bread Bakehouse is a nostalgic escape to far simpler days when bakeries smelled of freshness and ingredients were wholesome. It is the visual contrast to chain coffee shops with pre-packaged pastries and offers small-town hospitality in an historic part of our town undergoing revitalization.
Open for customers on Saturday mornings, the weekly line of customers wraps around the corner of South Florida Avenue in Dixieland. Fans of all ages brave the Central Florida weather that varies from extreme heat to rain that falls without warning while they anticipate the delectable treats that await inside.
I am not one for lines and I had walked past the incredibly long ones of Born and Bread Bakehouse when they were at our local farmer’s market, hoping I would be lucky to catch it at less busy time. The word on the (farmer’s market) street was that if the line wasn’t long, they were sold out!
Haley helped us with a smile last week!
She happily packaged my husband’s choices separately from the rest of the family’s vegetarian treats.
When the bakery opened around the corner from our house in Dixieland, I was hoping to stop on one of my Saturdays before heading to my shop at Disney, thinking that 6:30AM would surely allow me time to get in, get my sweets, and head to EPCOT, but no chance. I think people start lining up even before 5AM!
Breaking Bread with Community
My first taste of Born and Bread Bakehouse finally came in September 2017, the Saturday after Hurricane Irma hit. We live just around the corner from Born and Bread Bakehouse in Dixieland, but still hadn’t been there yet. It was our sixth day without power and we were all getting a bit testy. That morning, I powered up my phone for a quick connect back to the world for a bit. I saw the post that Born and Bread Bakehouse couldn’t open for business but was giving away loaves of fresh baked bread to our community in response to so many that were still without electricity.
In need of some moments away from our hot box of a house, my daughter and I walked over; not knowing if there would be a line, but in desperate need of some comfort. Jennifer Smurr, the owner of this fabulous bake shop was there with a few others, handing out loaves of bread with smiles shining the sweetness of hope.
Back on the front porch of our little historic bungalow, all six of us tore into that bread with gratitude. We were lucky. Carleigh and I had volunteered a couple days earlier in dishing out meals for families effected by the hurricane, but we had not been on the receiving end before. That loaf meant more than sustenance, it was breaking bread with community.
Jennifer Smurr, Owner of Born and Bread Bakehouse
Sprinkled with Magic
Jennifer must have sprinkled those loaves of bread with magic because as we were sitting on the porch enjoying ours, linemen arrived with the breakers that we were told would not arrive for a few more weeks. We had power by that afternoon!
Jennifer Smurr has worked her magic in other ways. The business she is building is the epitome of entrepreneurship fueled by passion and supported by homegrown love. Her story, as told in the fabulous feature “Bread is Born” by Kristin Crosby in the April 18, 2018 issue of The Lakelander, is one that illustrates a creative at work to achieve her dream.
The Taste is Divine
Some of my sweetest childhood memories came from the bakery owned by the family of one of my best friends. The freshness, the sweetness, the powdered sugar, the chocolate… oh my, I could go on and on about the baked yum that came from there. Guenterts Bakery had to be the ones to make my Sweet 16 birthday cake, our wedding cake, and every occasion in between. I never met a bakery that came close, until Born and Bread Bakehouse.
The flavor, the texture, the combination of elements, every aspect of each piece that I try is just full of perfection! It’s hard to pick a favorite, but my current must have is either the caramel macchiato cruffin or the dark chocolate sea salt cruffin. If neither one of those is on the changing weekly menu, I go for whatever has the most chocolate. The taste is always absolutely divine!
Treat Yourself to a Visit!
These days, I try to get to Born and Bread Bakehouse often on Saturday mornings when I am in town. We support local when we go out to eat and Born and Bread Bakehouse is definitely a pleasure to engage. I love spending my Saturday mornings, journaling in my eco-stained journals with a cup of coffee and a lovely yummy. When the weather is not so sweltering, I take my Classic Journal out on the porch, and enjoy the breeze. This old house that needs renovating has a certain charm that is heightened when I sit on the porch swing with a journal made from local plants and a pastry that highlights the sweetness of the moment.
Since I label myself as “vegan plus desserts,” Born and Bread Bakehouse is my favorite place to indulge in vegetarian pastry while my husband can start his day with a savory breakfast sandwich. Of course, we always have to get more delicacies to last past our morning fix. Unfortunately, they don’t usually last until Sunday brunch as planned!
If you find yourself close to Lakeland, Florida on a Saturday morning, treat yourself to a visit to Born and Bread Bakehouse!
Born and Bread Bakehouse
1113 S. Florida Ave.
Lakeland, Florida 33803
Be sure to check out the Born and Bread Bakehouse Facebook page for the weekly menu. Enjoy!