Perhaps the Okanagan’s most famous baker was Monika Walker, known by all as Monika the Baker.
Okanagan Grocery Artisan Bread’s previous owner pioneered the artisan breadmaking industry in Kelowna and really revolutionized how we eat bread.
Born and raised in Europe, shopping for bread was an integral part of daily lifestyle. Her organic sourdough starters (Naomi- the name of her oldest starter-i is around 100 years old) and use of organic ingredients solved a lot of suspected bread ailments for people (obviously not those that suffer from celiac disease) but for those who might have thought they had gluten issues, it turns out that eating healthy, fresh, preservative-free bread solved the problem.
So just where is our Monika? Well she followed her dream and bought a farm with horses in Savona, near Kamloops. In addition to managing beloved horses on her Blue Bunch Farm, she tends a garden, a small orchard, and of course, is still baking.
Now with a whole new audience for her amazing bread, Monika has a stall at the twice-weekly Kamloops Regional Farmers’ Market Wednesday and Saturdays. Besides her delicious bread offerings, she continues to make jam with local fruit from her orchard and those nearby, and she creates other delicious treats- currently focussing on a new line of root vegetable cakes.
So really, it is no surprise that her fan base grew astronomically and lead her back to teaching. Happily, for those in the Kamloops area, or those who want to make the mini road trip to learn from the master, Monika is offering a series of fall workshops. Hooray for Savona and Kamloops. We miss our favourite baker but are happy that she is spreading her bread love in another Okanagan village.
Fall workshop schedule:
Oct. 16 - Sourdough Bread
Oct. 23- Level 2 Sourdough Bread
Oct. 30 – Croissants
Pastry Class Series:
Nov. 9 - Meringue
Nov. 16 - Custards
Nov. 23 - Cake & chocolate
To sign up for the workshops you can visit Monika at the Kamloops Farmer’s Market or email her at: Bluebunchfarm@gmail.com and follow her on Facebook:/https://www.facebook.com/bluebunchfarm/
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