By the time 8 a.m. rolls around, the busiest part of Callie Koch’s day is over. She and three part-time employees have been hard at work since 4:30 a.m. creating the artisan sour dough bread that is the flagship product at Ingrained Bakery at 3706 Cleveland in Wellington. Using organic flour and incorporating a process that takes three days to complete, Koch is a woman in love with her work.
Now 29, she was 24 when she made the decision to go into business for herself. Until July 2015 when she opened a retail shop in Wellington, she shared work space with another enterprise in Fort Collins where she lives. Her baked goods sold well at area farmers’ markets and her commercial accounts such as The Kitchen and Café Vino in Fort Collins grew to the point where she decided to open a retail store where she could bake and sell her breads and pastries. She makes deliveries to her commercial clients six days a week.
“I’m glad I started small,” Koch says. She has no formal culinary training and waded into the entrepreneurial world taking it one step at a time and has been learning the ropes as she goes.
A graduate of LaPorte schools, Poudre High School and Colorado State University, Koch’s major—international business—took her to Europe where an interest in home baking blossomed into a passion and she decided to pursue it full-time.
“Baking has elements of the mystical to me,” she says. “It’s a living thing. I love observing the transformation as dough rises and becomes something entirely new, influenced by the invisible.”
The three-day sour dough bread making process begins with creating the culture on day one, mixing the dough on day two, refrigerating it overnight, and baking it on day three. The loaves sell for $5 each. Every morning the crew produces between 65 and 75 loaves of bread and 50 to 100 baguettes.
The cases at Ingrained also contain pastries, chocolate chip cookies and little packets of butter made from Morning Fresh Dairy cream and churned at the bakery. You can also buy a cup of coffee to go along with your selection.
Ingrained Bakery doesn’t have a big store-front sign, only a welcoming chalkboard on the sidewalk. A little note on the door warns that cash only is accepted. “I like to keep it simple,” Koch says. The shop is open from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Saturday and will be open afternoons starting in November.
Koch admits to being “a foodie” who loves to cook all kinds of things at home but will probably stick with baked goods in her career, further evidence of her desire to keep her life simple. When she has free time, she loves to be outdoors and enjoys reading anything that catches her interest—both fiction and non-fiction.