When Stacy and Chris Fields first planted their raspberry bushes, they intended the fruit to be an alternative source of income. But as their garden, business, and family began to grow, it became apparent that they’d need more than just their home kitchen and their booth at the Hendersonville Farmers Market to contain their output. They recently opened Mini Batch Bakery, offering a variety of baked goods, as well as products from their farm, Raspberry Fields (which will continue to sell fresh berries in season). Bold Life caught up with Stacy Fields to get the skinny — actually the “mini” — on the new operation.
How did you decide to add running a bakery to running a farm?
From working the farmers’ markets and doing all of
the things we do around town [with our raspberries], there’s been such a demand for our baked goods, breads, cakes, and pies, that it’s quickly grown out of our certified home kitchen. We went in search early last year for a commercial kitchen that we could bake out of, but unfortunately there’s not a very good option for that around here. Madison [County] and Marshall, and some other places around us, have commissary kitchens where people can come in, make a value-added product and take it to sell, but we don’t have one of those around here. So we decided to look around to see if we could find a place to put a kitchen in and do our own thing.
What can guests expect to find at the bakery?
We serve breakfast sandwiches and hot sandwiches for lunch, as well as soups and salads. We sampled some of those sandwiches during the festivals that we did this summer, and people seemed to really like them. But it’s all takeout, there’s no seating. We make a variety of our sourdough bread for our sandwiches, a whole wheat, savory garlic, and our traditional sourdough. We make pressed panini sandwiches on those breads with a variety of meats and cheeses, with toppings like avocado, spinach, tomato, mushrooms, and the like. There’s also quiche, stuffing platters, and different things you can custom order, pick up, and take home. We also do box lunches, so if you want to cater lunch into your office, we can do soup, sandwich, a side, and a sweet in a box.
How is “mini batch” different than “small batch?”
Mini Batch just rolls off the tongue in a fun way! Our tagline is always that when you bake in mini batches, it just tastes better. We branded the bakery Mini Batch Bakery with a similar logo to our farm so that people can recognize the connection, but we wanted it to have its own name and an identity of its own, separate from the farm, so that we can branch out and do different things with it. Our bread, our cakes, our pies, our cheesecakes, and our cookies are just the beginning.
So “mini” actually sounds like a lot of work …
Well, I’m a very analytical person in my other profession [a salesperson at Morrison Millworks], and this is a very soothing creative outlet for me — even with the stresses of it being a small business, the baking itself is quite therapeutic. … Bakeries should bring a smile to people’s faces, it should be a lighthearted, fun atmosphere, and “Mini Batch” just felt right for what we wanted to do.
Mini Batch Bakery, 404 7th Ave. East, Hendersonville, open Wednesday and Thursday, 7am-2pm; Friday and Saturday, 7am-4pm; and Sunday, 8am-2pm. For more information, call 828-595-4895 or see minibatchbakery.com.