Wild Flour Bakery expanding to East Troy, organic bread
April 29, 2012
Wild Flour Bakery & Café is expanding into the organic bread market and opening a baking and retail facility in East Troy, Wis.
The new operation is located on the property of the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute (MFAI), W2493 County Road ES. Established in 1984, MFAI is a farm and research center dedicated to developing agriculture that sustains the land and its resources.
The new East Troy Wild Flour Bakery will feature a retail store and café similar to the Wild Flour Bakery Café locations in Milwaukee. The owners anticipate that they will begin baking in mid-May and open for business in June. They project that the expansion will create up to 15 new jobs in the bakery, storefront, and distribution.
“Wild Flour is very excited about expanding our wholesale offering in Southeastern Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minnesota,” said company vice president, Josh Mertens. “Not only are we bringing back the famous Nokomis bread lines, but this is also an opportunity for us to bring our existing Wild Flour products to the East Troy area. We are looking forward to being a part of the community.”
Josh Mertens is the son of Dolly and Greg Mertens, who own and operate four Wild Flour bakeries in Milwaukee and South Milwaukee. The opened their first bakery in 1996.
Wild Flour will operate in the former Nokomis Bakery at MFAI and reintroduce 14 varieties of Nokomis organic and wheat-alternative breads, using the original recipes. Mertens said that they have acquired the right to the Nokomis brand name but they haven’t decided how they will incorporate the name on their labels. He said the new line will be branded with the Wild Flour Bakery name that he wants to include a reference to Nokomis.
Wild Flour’s Nokomis breads will include one or two low-gluten or gluten-free breads.
Mertens plans to bake some of the organic bread in an outdoor wood-fire oven, which was part of the Nokomis baking operation. He estimates that the oven’s capacity is about thirty loaves. He said they will also mill organic grains on site.
Wild Flour will partner with MFAI on a variety of events, including classes about bread baking and pizza-making using the wood-burning oven.
Mertens said they will cater to Michael Fields visitors who come to explore the gardens and hike the trails by making coffee and sandwiches available to them. The gardens and trails are maintained by MFAI.
Wild Flour Bakery & Café is a family-owned business with over 16 years of experience in the baking industry. They have received numerous awards, including the Bakery of the Year Award from the Wisconsin Bakers Association, as well as the 2010 Greater Milwaukee Committee Inner City Business Award.
Wild Flour currently features four locations: 2800 W. Lincoln Ave.; 275 W. Wisconsin Ave. (Grand Avenue); 422 E. Lincoln Ave. (Bay View); and 1205 Milwaukee Ave. in South Milwaukee.
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