Best Bread St. Louis 2013 - Black Bear Bakery
A worker-owned and -operated collective, Black Bear respects environmental sustainability in its products, using several local and organic ingredients. The bakery is known for its near-century-old live-culture Lickhalter recipe rye breads, but it also has a large selection of specialty and whole-grain breads, bagels, buns and pastries. After a scare with going out of business last year, Black Bear is steadily recovering, thanks to current and former employees stepping up to work for free. "We're investing in the business we want to see survive forever," employee Bryan Dennert says. "We do care a lot. Otherwise we wouldn't have done it." After altering production days, fine-tuning staff and starting three campaigns on Indiegogo, Dennert says Black Bear is still a cooperative and more consistent than ever.