By Athena McKenzie/ Photos by Jeffrey Bosdet
In the months leading up to the opening of Working Culture Bread, co-owner Jess Rivers couldn’t stop thinking about the silly things she wanted to write on the bakery’s chalkboard sign. Now, customers are greeted with amusing, baking-inspired puns.
“It’s really important to us that our customers get a glimpse of our goofy side and know that we don’t take ourselves too seriously,” she says. “My dad was a newspaper editor and would always write the front-page headlines — usually they were puns, and I’m sure that’s where I get my questionable sense of humour from.”
The neighbourhood bakery and cafe, located on Douglas Street near Bay Street, specializes in handcrafted and naturally leavened sourdough breads.
“They’re very high hydration with a dark exterior crust and a soft, spongy interior, very robust and made with wholesome organic ingredients,” says co-owner Adam Christie, whose favourite part of the working day is first thing in the morning. “I make myself a coffee, and it’s very dark and quiet so early in the morning. The day is full of potential, and I like to think about where all the loaves that day will end up.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Jess:I want to be able to eat an unlimited amount of salt andvinegar chips without getting sick or destroying my mouth.
What is your greatest fear?
Adam:Drowning, which is interesting because I spent a decade on the water as a sprint canoe kayaker and loved every minute of it.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Jess:I like to act like I am not bothered by the opinions of others, but I am very much bothered!
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Adam:Elitism. We can all learn something from each other,so it bothers me when people act like they’re on a higher level than everyone else.
Which living person do you most admire? Why?
Jess:My mom, hands down. She has supported me unwaveringly through many questionable life decisions, and she is a tireles ssingle parent, who has dedicated her life to making sure my brother and I are cared for and loved.
What is your greatest extravagance?
Adam:I do enjoy a good pedicure with some pastel polish, but it’sbeen a while since I’ve had one. I have started getting regular massages, and I really love grabbing a spotby the ocean with a glass of natural wine.
On what occasion do you lie?
Jess:I lie if the truth is only going to be hurtful and provide no benefit, like if my friend makes me a bad dinner, I’ll say I loved it, because what would be the point of making them feel bad?
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Adam:Self-control. I think it’s ridiculous to have self-control, and if you want to enjoy something, you should enjoy it to the fullest extent.
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
Jess:Adam. I know, barf, I’m sorry.
What do you most value in your friends?
Adam:That I can be myself around them, and we share a lot of joy in laughter together. Even if we don’t see each other for a while, we pick up where we left off and don’t skip a beat.
What is your most treasured possession?
Jess:Our bakery, though I don’t know if I would call it apossession because it feels like it belongs to a lot more people than just us. Our names are on the leasethough, so I guess it counts.