Sour Bakery: Our North Carolina Story So Far (Part 1)

First batch of mini pies, peach I think

Moving to North Carolina was a BIG move. We left our California Coastal home (2016, June/July), where we had resided off and on for 35 years, drove our car and two cats as well as a few belongings and our optimism and fear, and travelled through 2,777 miles of the United States. Tucked away in a controlled temperature bag was Stella, my barm since 2009, started in Seattle Washington, raised in Santa Cruz, and fed in 8 different states. Moving here-leaving behind teaching, our families and friends, and all we had ever really known-we hoped to find soil to take root in, and time to make dreams a reality.

Immediately I began baking, trying to fill my apartment with the scent of fresh bread and spices, and fill the environment with happy little yeasty friends to create a new layer of complexity to Stella. Each place we fed her gave her a new variation of yeast and bacterium, all cousins to the same general family. Stella was becoming as diverse and unique as our own story.

English Muffins, take 1

It took me over a month to find a job, which was crazy. Since living on my own I have always: worked and gone to school; worked two jobs; worked two jobs and taken online classes. I have NEVER NOT WORKED FOR 30 DAYS. I was baking all sorts of new things, all wild yeast leavened: English muffins, ciabatta, cinnamon rolls (sweet and savory), muffins, brownies, cookies, so on and so forth. I started Sour Bakery’s Instagram, Facebook, and WordPress.


First attempt at Cinnamon rolls, but with apples and pecans.

Then I was employed and baking took a back seat. In our relationship, my partner and I have always strived to be egalitarian, so having been unable to contribute to the bills had been getting under my skin. Still, I baked on my weekends (the first time EVER where I had Saturday and Sunday off every week).

Thanksgiving came, our first with our East Coast Family, and I brought bread to share (of course), but with a tinge of apprehension in my heart. What if they didn’t like?!? We had been sharing our breads with Knowles’ Coworkers and mine, and they had “liked” it and found it to be “good”, but this was new family. The

Next try at Cinnamon Rolls

bread disappeared so fast and so thoroughly that it seemed I had forgotten to bring any! Not only were they super stoked, several entrepreneurial family members sat with me and we talked about how to get the dream out of my head and into a version of reality to start from. I was given homework to work on until Christmas.

The brief time between these holidays was filled with work, bread making, business plan development, researching Farmers Markets, and being generally terrified of choosing this path. Christmas came and again we travelled to Virginia to see our East Coast family. We brought bread and caught up with each other. I mentioned my progress on the  business plan.  I was encouraged to seek out businesses that might be interested in breads or pastries. We returned home to North Carolina, rang in the New Year and reflected on our first 6 months.

side view of dough being weighed out for pre shaping

2 Comments Add yours

  1. David S Burr says:

    I so enjoyed your website but do not know how to contact you except by Tuesday afternoons at Farrington. Do you sell elsewhere or must I just but on Tuesdays?
    Should I miss as I did last week, I must live without your wonderful fare.
    Help and regards. I love your product. Bravo!


    1. sourbakerydurham says:

      Hello! SO glad you found us here, although it has been a minute since I last posted. We also sell at the Chapel Hill Market (at the University Mall) on Saturday mornings, and this market is year-round! We have a few grocery stores and cafes in Alamance County. The closest to Fearrington is Saxapahaw General Store!


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