I got the text message Saturday afternoon: “Hi Erik. Care to see the improvements here at the bakery anytime this weekend?”
It was from Josh Mertens from Wild Flour Bakery.
Of course I would, I replied, and we (and his father, Greg) met a few hours later at their South Milwaukee store, 1205 Milwaukee Ave.
I’m glad I stopped by, as I got a chance to see and hear about Wild Flour’s growth plans.
The headline: Wild Flour is consolidating all of its baking operations in South Milwaukee in coming weeks, bringing more than a dozen new employees to town. They are also exploring ways to enhance their retail operations locally.
With the new equipment and people (growing from five to around 20 employees), Wild Flour may produce as many as 2,000 loaves of bread a day in their 7,500 square-foot South Milwaukee store, and 3,000 cookies per week, and other treats.
What comes from South Milwaukee ovens will be bound for their farmers’ markets (they do around 25, including the South Milwaukee Downtown Market) and stores like Sendik’s and Woodman’s, as well as retailers like Oscar’s Pub & Grill (Wild Flour makes the brioche buns for the South Side restaurant’s award-winning hamburgers) and Valentine Coffee Co. (they make baked goods for their three busy airport kiosk locations).
I want to thank the Mertens and Wild Flour for investing in downtown South Milwaukee — the latest example of local businesses choosing to grow locally. Heck, it’s second our bakery expansion alone. Look for more sweet success stories soon.