For those who know, and many do, Moxie Bread Co. has offered world-class hand-crafted heirloom grain baked goods and ambience at its cozy headquarters in a small converted house in the heart of downtown Louisville since its launch in 2015.
Founder Andy Clark’s semifinalist nod for “Outstanding Baker” for the 2018 and 2019 edition of a coveted James Beard Award confirmed what many already knew — Moxie is a local treasure.
And as of Wednesday, April 15, now Boulderites have easier access to its baked goods and its growing heirloom grain mill operation with the opening of its 1,400-square-foot mill site and granary in North Boulder at 4593 Broadway, just a few blocks north of where Broadway intersects Violet Ave (former site of pet food purveyor Allie’s Dog Bowl).
Shot of Moxie’s Louisville headquarters. Video still: Moxie Bread Co.
The North Boulder location sells Moxie pastries and bread and a bulk baking section of high-quality milled-on-site heirloom grains (wheat, corn, rye).
Moxie will use the mill space in the back to process its heirloom grains for the bread and pastries it bakes at its Louisville headquarters and for selling direct to consumers and wholesale to local restaurants.
During COVID-19, the NoBo location is open weekdays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and closed on the weekends. We can place pick-up orders for any number of a spread of Moxie delights, such as its Farmhaus Loaf, Seeded Dark Rye, croissants, muffins and a handful of other goodies, online.
Detail of Moxie’s front retail space at its new North Boulder location. Photos: Paul Hagey
Not Moxie Bread Co. 2.0
Instead of replicating and opening a second branch of Moxie, the North Boulder location represents a dive into a deeper, broader business model + raison de etre: to cultivate a regionwide market for heirloom grains.
The company began this initiative as a founding member of the Colorado Grain Chain, a multi-stakeholder initiative designed to build an heirloom grain market in Colorado, says Moxie general manager Keely VonBank. Moxie owner Andy Clark serves as the chair of the organization.
“We want to help rebuild a broken agricultural and food system,” Keely says.
The term heirloom refers to the unadulterated status of the seeds used to grow crops. Many grains (and other crops) come from hybrid seeds that companies have scientifically designed for higher pest and disease resistance, more yield and increased durability (for transport). However, these seeds often produce less nutritious, less adaptable food.
Heirloom grain varieties retain genetics that have evolved over millennia, which usually translates into healthier plants, seeds, soil, agriculture and all the interconnected elements of an ecosystem.
These benefits shoot up a notch when farmers cultivate heirloom crops from locally adapted varieties. And this is Moxie Bread’s deeper mission and the spearpoint that its North Boulder location represents: creating a market, an outlet, for locally grown heirloom grains.
[Read profile of Boulder-based nonprofit building a seedhouse of locally adapted seeds]
When local farmers know that someone will buy the heirloom grains they grow, they will grow them. Right now, Colorado doesn’t have a farmer who grows heirloom grain at scale. That’s the point of the Colorado Grain Chain and Moxie’s North Boulder store.
Currently, Moxie gets its heirloom grains from Kansas-based Stephens Land and Cattle (for 100 percent whole wheat grain) and Nebraska-based Heartland Mill (for more sifted whole wheat grain that goes into Moxie’s pastries) and a host of other small farms in South Dakota and Colorado.
View the heirloom varieties Moxie sells out of its NoBo grainary here.
The company signed the lease in January and sold its goods next door at Karim’s In-Season Local Market next door for the last few months.
Opening a new store in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic might appear odd, but Moxie has actually seen increased demand. People are turning to the bakery for takeout meals, flour and bread, lots of bread, Keely says. Moxie has added staff to handle the uptick.
Header image: Moxie Bread Co.’s North Boulder storefront. Photo: Paul Hagey
Editor’s note: this story has been updated. Moxie may begin selling locally sourced items and baking goods at the North Boulder store, but has not yet decided to do that.