The Local Crumb is a small bakery located off Main Street in Mount Vernon, Iowa. The bakery specializes in hearty breads mixed with Iowa-milled grains. The product is made from simple ingredients: sourdough starter, water, salt and flour. The result is a sturdy bread made with passion and purpose.
The Local Crumb is a bakery for the community. At this time, breads are baked in a small, borrowed, wood-fired brick oven, a result of an ongoing partnership with a restaurant in Mount Vernon. Production and distribution are currently limited due to the shared use space, and also the size and nature of the brick oven. Despite of this, demand within the community by families and businesses have increased. At this time there are no bakeries in Mount Vernon and there is limited availably of freshly baked breads within the larger Cedar Rapids-Iowa City Corridor. Through demand and local support, it has become clear that an established bakery such as the Local Crumb will be a valued asset to the Mount Vernon community.
A Market Analysis commissioned by the Mount Vernon-Lisbon Community Development Group (CDG) with the help and assistance of the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) and Main Street Iowa (MSI) concluded that specialty food stores and bakeries would be prime candidates for expansion of and recruitment into the Mount Vernon business district(1).
Current demand has taken a toll on the business’s inventory. It is clear that if production could triple, the market would meet the demand. The current business plan calls for the purchase of a steam-injected deck oven once the business is fully able to move into its new location and begin full-time production.
Short-term goals for the company include:
1.A space designated for full-time baking production (in negotiation with a production site)
2.Equipment, primarily a steam-injected deck oven (in discussion with American Baking Systems, Cedar Rapids, Iowa)
3.A marketing plan that takes The Local Crumb brand from the farmers' markets and onto Main Street (www.thelocalcrumb.com)
The bakery’s present and future Main Street location(s) and proximity to several area Farmers' Markets including Mount Vernon Farmers' Market, Cedar Rapids Farmers' Market, Iowa City Farmers' Market allows for a certain flexibility to grow with customer demand. Other opportunities for distribution include partnering with local farm CSA programs around Mount Vernon and beyond. Future revenue streams may include restaurant wholesale and the implementation of a community focused bread share program.
(1)Page 18, Mount Vernon Market Study and Strategies, Mount Vernon, Iowa, 2014.
Business expansion and increased bread production will require an increase of bakery equipment. Award money will be used for baking supplies, including, bread pans, boards for resting loaves, speed racks, cooling racks, preparation tables, and a commercial bread mixer. Award money will also be used to facilitate the company's support and contribution to area farmers' markets by purchasing items needed for a sales booth: display cases, tables and signage. These materials are essential as the business transitions from its borrowed facility into its own, full-time and permanent space.
Ultimately, the award money will allow the Local Crumb to continue producing a product which I am passionate about providing to my valued community in a volume more fitted to the demand.