Fenton — When you stop in at Crust, or even just drive by, there are two things you are likely to notice. The first being the tantalizing aroma of fresh baked goods, and the other is how there seems to be people hard at work at all times of the day and night.
One of the most interesting aspects of Crust are the large windows that give you a view into what goes on behind the scenes. When Crust’s owner, Mark Hamel, was first looking at the building on Caroline Street, he said he thought the windows would make it a great location. “In our research we did, the thing people wanted was to see what the bakers were doing,” he said.
Just under a year later, Crust has been a success. Hamel said that one of the most challenging times for a business is the first five years — but they also tend to be the most fun and memorable. Hamel said he has received great feedback. “With every business, it takes a while for people to know about you, but the first year has gone pretty much the way we hoped it would be, though we still have a long way to go,” Hamel said.
What can you expect to find when you go to Crust?
“We do artisan bread and artisan pastries. When I say artisan, typically what I mean is the technique that we use,” said Hamel. “The way they made bread 10,000 years ago is the same way we make it here. It is a long process.”
Because their breads are made naturally utilizing the fermentation process, they can take from 24 to 46 hours to make.
“Bread is nothing but flour and water and a little bit of sea salt. The amount of time that is allowed to sit around is what allows it to develop the flavor of the bread,” Hamel said. “If you go to the grocery store nowadays, and you look at the ingredient list on your bread, it’s like two paragraphs of chemicals and preservatives and oils,” Hamel said.
“You could make the argument that the most important ingredient is time.”
There are many different types of bread that are baked in Crust — sourdough, dark rye, and cinnamon raisin are only a few. Hamel said that a lot of the grain breads have been popular as of late. Every day can offer a new opportunity to try one of their special bakes. The bakery is certainly not limited just to bread, either.
On any given day, you can expect the bakers at Crust to be hard at work, be making around 130 different types of baked goods. These baked goods range from hand-rolled croissants, muffins made from scratch, crumb top and double-crust pies, and much more.
“We are almost 24 hours a day where there is someone in here baking. I think there is only about a three-hour period where no one is in here,” Hamel said.
Hamel said that Crust is a great place to work, because everyone always comes in happy. “They are excited to get a sweet or some fresh bread,” he said. “No one ever comes in mad. No one ever says ‘Darn it, I have to buy a raspberry Danish.’”