Andrew Bayker Entrepreneur ProfileAugust 7, 2019
2021 Update on Andrew and Susan:
Late 2019 and 2020 brought on exciting changes at Althea Bread. Andrew and Susan took a country-wide road trip to find inspiration and do bread and business research, and lucky for us, ended up back in Charlottesville. You can find them at the IX Farmers Market on Saturdays as well as doing some cool collabs with other local businesses. Recently they opened their own production space with the hopes of moving soon to a full time bakery with direct retail, coffee shop, and an open kitchen concept to be able to show their customers the full baking experience. They want to create a space for people to truly enjoy, everything is a process and they want that process to be special both in bread and business. “Commit to progress,” Andrew says, “don’t get discouraged, focus on forward motion!”
Original 2019 Profile:
Andrew Bayker is the founder and owner of Althea Bread – a stone-ground flour mill and bread bakery. Althea Bread’s products, which include bread, pastries, cookies, palmiers, and more, are sold at the City Market on Saturdays and at the Meade Market on Wednesdays during the farmers market season. Andrew operates the company with his wife and bakes these authentic products in his own home.
Andrew was interested in starting a bakery because of his passion for delicious bread and working with his hands. His experience working at other bakeries gave him the confidence to create his own business, allowing him to do what he loves while being his own boss. He values the routine and physical activity that comes with baking and hopes to always be involved with this as he grows his business.
In five years, Andrew envisions having his own bakery in Charlottesville that sells a quick lunch and coffee. He hopes to use his bakery to give more community members access to the local food chain and to local flour grains. A big part of Althea Bread is the way in which it supports small scale agriculture. Through the Common Grain Alliance, Andrew is able to connect with local farmers that sell him higher quality and healthier grains than he would be able to purchase otherwise. The benefits of local farming are becoming more and more evident, as huge corporations who control food production are more focused on their own interests, rather than the health of their consumers.
Andrew participated in CIC’s Entrepreneur Workshop in the spring of 2019. He feels “it was the best experience I’ve had surrounding my business, the support from CIC and the entrepreneurs going through the program with me was incredible. They gave me the confidence to believe that my visions were possible – no matter how small or large.” After attending the CIC workshop, Andrew explains that he feels much more is possible than he ever believed and that he is grateful for the relationships he created with other entrepreneurs in the workshop. He emphasizes that “CIC gave me the framework for a mindset of how to change the world”.
As advice to future CIC entrepreneurs, Andrew stresses the importance of being happy in business pursuits and day-to-day life. “Remember to think about what you can do to make things better for everyone involved – your employees, your customers, and yourself.”