There's something about turning flour and water into daily bread that compels brothers Jesse and Kit Schumann.
"We love working with our hands,” said Kit. “It’s a lot of fun being a baker."
These thirty-something brothers grew up outside of Bellingham, in Deming, and made bagels and pizza dough while rooming together post college in Portland.
To formalize their yeasty yearnings -- Jesse trained at the San Francisco Baking Institute, and Kit worked at Breadfarm in Skagit Valley… which gave rise to a stint as 'guerilla' bakers – saving on rent by baking in closed Seattle restaurants during the wee hours:
"We baked in the off hours at Boat Street Cafe, so when everyone went home at 10 or 11 or 12 we would come in and the bread would have been proofing in Jesse's apartment,” explained Kit.
They’d put the dough in Jesse’s car and drive to Boat Street Café, where they’d bake 8 loaves at a time, then do deliveries to local restaurants as the sun came up.
Seattle chef Renee Erickson owned the now-shuttered Boat Street - and she saw the potential of these baking brothers. She helped them raise money on Kickstarter. And in August 2016 the brothers opened Sea Wolf. Now they bake in their own fancy Italian oven that does 80 loaves at a time, in a spacious sun-filled space that welcomes retail customers.
“The really fun thing is we have regulars now, we have people coming in for little coffee meet ups, and it's really fun to be suddenly part of the community, and that's really exciting,” said Kit.
The brothers agree that opening a retail bakery is a leap of faith – but they have a lot of faith in the alchemy that transforms flour and water into crusty loaves:
"Yeah. It's satisfying work.” Said Jesse.
“It's really nice to throw something in the oven, pull it out, and be satisfied with what you made,” added Kit.
Sea Wolf Bakers is located at 3621 Stone Way N. in Seattle, and it's open Wednesday - Sunday 7am to 3 pm.