Today we’d like to introduce you to Anne Dargent-Wallace.
Hi Anne, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself
I was born and raised in France. In 2007, at the age of 25, I moved to Madison, Wisconsin to work on my Ph.D. in Second Language Acquisition. A few years later I moved to Minneapolis, and after starting a family, finishing my dissertation and working as a French professor I realized I needed to switch careers. In 2017 I decided to do culinary training at the Paul Bocuse Institute in Lyon, France.
Upon returning to Minneapolis, I worked at Spoon & Stable (Chef Gavin Kaysen’s first restaurant) as a commis and then as Pasta & Bread Chef for a year, to gain experience in the restaurant industry. In 2019 I created my business D’argent Bakery, a cottage micro-bakery. D’argent Bakery is a subscription-based and home-based bakery specialized in naturally-leavened bread, and French pastries.
My goal in creating my business was to provide the best tasting bread to my community, while supporting our local food chain and agriculture. Making bread the right and slow way has given me a new perspective on the way I eat and I live my life in general, and I am so grateful for it.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I feel extremely lucky. It hasn’t been easy and straightforward, but I am surrounded by people that support me and believe in me and that has helped me tremendously.
Some of the struggles I have encountered while starting/running my small business are: trying to find a work/life balance, especially with two young children (and child care is outrageously expensive in the United States, so that doesn’t help); and having to take on the various hats of an accountant, marketing manager, dishwasher, photographer, customer service, web designer, etc. as well as baker of course.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
I am the owner and baker of D’argent Bakery, a cottage micro-bakery (I bake out of my home and have a Cottage Food License). I specialize in naturally-leavened bread, and French pastries. I offer a subscription-based program: twice a month, subscribers pick up their loaf of bread and pastries from my home. I make French/European types of bread, such as country bread, baguette, rye bread, fougasse and pastries such as croissants, chocolate croissants, brioche, babka, doughnuts, and more. All of my baked goods are slowly fermented with natural leaven (sourdough) for better flavor, nutrition and digestibility. The flour and grains I use are locally grown by farmers who deeply care about soil health and the future of farming. The bread flour is freshly milled by our local millers who work closely with these farmers. I mill all of my whole grains in house with a stoneground mill. Most of the other ingredients I use in my baked goods are locally sourced as well to keep supporting our local food chain and agriculture.
What I am most proud of about my brand is that everything I offer is handmade by me, using the best local ingredients. I love the community aspect of my business as well, being on a first-name basis with the farmers that provide me with flour and grains, with the millers that stone-mill the freshest flour, with my customers that pick up their bread every two weeks. It is a wonderful feeling to know that I have become the neighborhood baker to a lot of people in my community.
How can people work with you, collaborate with you or support you?
I would love to collaborate with other bakers to educate people about our local grains and the benefits of sourdough and real bread. I am not sure how, though.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.dargentbakery.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dargentbakery/?hl=en