Rising Star Baker Josey Baker of Josey Baker Bread - Biography

San Francisco , CA

May 2016

Josey Baker has always been a Baker, just not always a baker. The New York native and longtime Vermonter moved to San Francisco in 2005, well before he got his hands into dough. Five years later, set to commence studies in psychology, a childhood friend gifted him a sourdough starter—he was hooked after the first loaf.  

Eventually, Baker out-paced his capacity to consume the bread he baked, filling his apartment with loaves and giving the rest away. One day, a friend paid cash for a loaf, and the word spread. On Thanksgiving 2010, 60 strangers (say pilgrims) showed up at Baker’s door to buy bread. Having unwittingly turned an interest into an obsession, and an obsession into an insta-business, Baker quit his job and rented production space from Mission Pie and wood-fired Pizzaiolo in Oakland. He began selling loaves through a community supported bread program (a CSA for bread).

In 2012, he joined forces with Four Barrel Coffee, and together they opened The Mill, a shared cafe-bakery. Baker installed a stone mill to grind whole grain California wheat and rye, started baking loaves, and popularized one of the most unexpected trends to emerge from San Francisco in recent years: toast. In 2014, Baker published Josey Baker Bread, a book for beginning bakers. He currently leads a team of 11, is constructing a larger custom mill, and supplies bread to San Francisco’s top restaurants, including Petit Crenn, Nopa, and State Bird Provisions.