Our Daily Bread
updated: Sep 14, 2013, 11:00 AM
By Kelley Skumautz
Around Town Asides - Local Finds For Those With Refill In Mind
Armed with reused containers and bags, I scour the greater Santa Barbara area for opportunities
where bringing your own is not taboo.
I am a former employee of the Environmental Defense Center and one of the countless benefits of
working there was its proximity to the intersection of Santa Barbara and Canon Perdido streets, the
nexus of Three Pickles, Sojourner, and before C'est Cheese expanded, Thrasher Bookstore (RIP great
place to pick up used reads) and Our Daily Bread (ODB). By name alone, I normally wouldn't saunter in,
but after a colleague shared a piece of their potato focaccia, my curiosity was piqued. Once inside, I
found super-friendly counter help and freshly baked bread sans bag.
It is in simplifying and modifying my routines that I gain some semblance of control in my epic battle
against too much stuff, over-packaging, and having to throw things away or recycle them before they
are thoroughly used. I had assumed that I would have to learn to bake my own bread in order to avoid
store-bought loaves sold only in bags and, quite frankly, dreaded the notion; but ODB made it not so.
When I needed a loaf, I was able to pop up the street and pick out one to my liking to be sliced and
sheathed in a bag of my own bringing.
But then ODB moved and I left my job. "Thank goodness," I thought as ODB relocated near my credit
union, making the ganging up of errands seemingly easy. However, the baker's rack once loaded with
bread in the buff was nowhere to be found upon first arrival at the new store. I was not prepared for this
set back but was able to make due with the manager's help. He also advised me to call ahead next time
so the staff could set a loaf aside on the day I planned to come in.
I definitely do not mind calling ahead especially when means getting things free of packaging, so I was
braced to have this continually be the case at ODB - at least they took customer service seriously and
were willing to oblige my weird requests. But after a very short while the baker's rack came back and I
am ecstatic to see it once again chock full of nude ryes, wheats, and sourdoughs.
This slight delay gave me another gift - time to realize that ODB's ciabatta makes a perfectly good nest
for veggie burgers, and since they are also offered in bulk supply, I no longer buy burger buns at the
grocery store. Once I was even lucky enough to stumble in on a day the bakers made challah buns
hotdog style which were yummy and bag free -- thank you ODB.
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Kelley Skumautz is the owner of Refill to You a home
and small business delivery service which replenishes products for the kitchen, bath, and laundry. She
also writes a weekly blog about simplicity, sustainability,
community & commodity.
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