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Hope Mendrin, owner of Hope's Artisan Bread

11 May . 2020

Get to Know Your Local Estrella Baker

We love to support the small businesses in our master-planned community in Goodyear, AZ, and were excited to have welcomed Hope’s Artisan Bread to Cafe Bebida in  Estrella about a year ago. Learn all about this great company and its tasty offerings in this Q&A with owner Hope Mendrin.

Tell us a little about your company, Hope’s Artisan Bread.

Hi, I’m Hope, and I love handcrafting sourdough bread using three simple ingredients: flour, water, and salt. It takes three days from start to finish to make a naturally leavening dough using a sourdough starter. No commercial yeast, preservatives, or additives are used in my bread, making it healthier and more digestible for us. We use an old dough-making process that takes time and patience, then we stone bake 12 loaves at a time in an oven that was made in Belgium.

What was the inspiration for your company?

Hope’s Artisan Bread started with gut health in mind. I learned that it was the most important part of wellness and I found personally that I can digest and tolerate sourdough bread better than any other bread on the market. As time went on, friends and family also experienced the same and urged me to share my bread with our community. In October 2018, I attended my very first farmers market and have kept up with it ever since because of the love that my customers have shown.

My passion of learning the art of sourdough and its benefits on the gut microbiome took me on a journey to helping others with artisan breads. I am so grateful to be doing what I love and to be helping so many others understand why fermented foods are important for us, nutrition wise. You might not know, but we also ferment our cookies and cinnamon rolls, too! Not only is my bread healthier, but I think it tastes so much better than commercially produced products.

Since you work in small batches, there are often different items for sale each week — how do you decide what to make?

We generally keep to 4-6 versions of sourdough, which are mixed using our newly acquired 70-lb mixer and then hand folded in small batches that allow us to get creative with flavors. Now that we are in unprecedented times, we are finding that our customers need a simplified, classic menu. This in turn helps us produce more bread for those in need.
Still baking 12 loaves at a time, we are focusing on our classic sourdough and 9-grain sourdough in the middle of the week, with more variations available on Fridays and Saturdays at our market stall and for the weekend retailers. We send out weekly emails to update our customers on our menu.

Bread variations can also change weekly due to flour or ingredients sourced that week. We focus on sourcing the highest seasonal quality local and regional flour and ingredients to support our local food economy and to bring awareness to knowing where your food comes from. Most importantly, seasonal flavors are just so much more delicious. For our flat breads, we love to pick up fresh herbs and ingredients from Blue Sky Organic farms or from our local farm vendors at the market.

What are your top three favorite things you make at Hope’s Artisan Bread?

One of my personal favorites that I bake is the Jalapeno Cheddar sourdough — it’s so good, you can tear it apart and eat it on its own. Every time I pull out a fresh batch of sourdough cinnamon rolls, it’s very tempting to eat one warm with the Madagascar vanilla bean glaze and sour cream. Lastly, my dark chocolate rye cookies use the highest quality chocolate from Valhrona and Belgium chocolate chips, which melt in my mouth when eating them. (I may or may not keep a hidden stash of these in my freezer at all times, shh!)

What are your kitchen must haves?

I cannot live without my kitchen scale. Being a bread baker, I use a scale to measure in grams, so all my recipes have accurate measurements. I also love using my baking steel, when I have extra pizza dough left over from an order. We preheat the steel in the oven and get beautiful pizzas straight from home. My sourdough starter is my number one kitchen must have, since that is the essence of all my baking. It requires my attention three times a day when I feed it to keep it alive.

How long have you lived in Estrella?

I have lived in Goodyear for five years and moved up here to Estrella about two months ago. We have always loved this community and visited often for hiking trails, eating bagels, and grabbing food from Lakeside Grill.

What is your favorite thing about the community?

I love Estrella community for the fact that it has only been a few months living up here and the community has been so welcoming. I admire the kindness of the people, and how peaceful it is. I love hiking and scenery, so it is so special to be walking distance from enjoying the outdoors.

What’s your favorite local restaurant?

My favorite cafe currently is Café Bebida. When you walk up the steps to the entrance, you can’t help but enjoy the beautiful scenery surrounding Casa Lucero. We are lucky to live in such a gorgeous area and Cafe Bebida gives us the opportunity of taking a few extra moments to appreciate it. I love getting the veggie wrap with an elderflower, ginger, and fresh lemon botanical drink. That flavor combination wins my heart. We are so lucky to have access to an amazing cafe.

Where can people find your bread?

We spend many hours before sunrise baking bread for the Saturday Farmers Market in Peoria, as well as supplying tasty eats to retailers across the West Valley, including:
• Danzeisen Dairy- fresh bread delivered on Tuesdays and Fridays
• Café Bebida- bread and pastries on Fridays
• Cabin Coffee in Glendale- daily delivery of bread for avocado toast, paninis, and sandwiches
• Blue Sky Farms- freshly stocked daily with our sourdough cinnamon rolls and pastries
• Bully Brew Coffee- bread and pastries
• Enroute Coffee and Tea House- pizza dough and occasional pastries
• Purple Elephant Cakes in Litchfield Park- cookies and bread

You can also place an order on our website for free West Valley delivery or preorder for pick-up at select retail locations and the Peoria Farmers Market. Sign up for our email list for current and weekly updates on availability.

What else should we know?

We invite you to follow along on our Facebook and Instagram @hopesartisanbread to learn more about sourdough and the other items we offer. In these unprecedented times, don’t hesitate to reach out to us about our next bake day – we are always baking to make sure there is nutritious bread available. Stay safe and well.
~ Hope Mendrin & Family