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Jesse Merrill



Polestar Hearth began in 2008 as a home-based brick-oven bakery in Guelph, ON.  For 9 years we ran as a Community Supported bakery on a subscription basis, modelled after the CSA movement.  In 2017 we grew into a street front bakery, employing 10-15 people.  In both of these incarnations the focus has been making the best naturally leavened bread we can, to feed the community around us, with a focus on doing creative work for the common good.


Jesse will present on the journey from micro bakery to street front bakery, touching on the challenges and victories of 15 years as a self taught baker and business owner.  He’ll touch on oven building, city zoning and regulations, outdoor baking, using municipal water, using cool vs dependable flours, paying forward the generosity of other bakers, going electric, finding and keeping employees, educating the public, working within the walls you have, finding efficiencies, and perhaps most importantly developing ways to make this work sustainable, both in the big picture environmentally, and in the lives and loves of the folks with their hands in the dough. 


Jesse is the father of three children who grew up in a bakery, the husband of a woman whose generous spirit made this bakery possible, and the son of a mother who baked bread weekly and a father who taught him how to work with his hands.   

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