The Instagram Live event popped up and Conor O’Neill was shaping puffy loaves of sourdough bread. Later, the loaves will be baked and delivered before 7 a.m. the next day to Walnut Street Coffee in Edmonds. The Cottage at Blue Ridge, O’Neill’s bakery, is spreading the love of naturally leavened bread throughout his hometown.
He formed the business just two years ago after a trip to Paris, France where he was intrigued by the Old World process and techniques of bread making.
O’Neill began baking in college — it started as a need to learn to cook which moved into baking. At the time, he was earning a degree in marketing, which turned into a field of work he didn’t enjoy. When a friend found a Craigslist ad for a job opening at Columbia City Bakery, he took the chance. Columbia City’s Evan Andres has been a semifinalist for a James Beard award multiple years in a row and working with him was a tremendous education for O’Neill.
Columbia City Bakery is where O’Neill learned to bake sourdough bread at scale. Now, with two pastry chefs on board, he is baking as much as he can put out of his catering kitchen.
Currently you can find The Cottage at Blue Ridge bread locally in the new Jaiiya Cafe, where his toasted walnut sourdough loaf is sliced, toasted and served with avocado.
Kelnero is serving his chocolate chunk rye cookie with Lopez Island Creamery Latte Chip ice cream and Jonboy Fleur de Sel Caramel drizzle.
Walnut Street Coffee is carrying Blue Ridge’s sourdough loaves and cardamom buns for sale.
And if you are in the Perrinville district, pop in Wednesdays, 4-6:30 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. to his bakery’s Pop-Up. He expects to continue these weekly until he’s able to open up a new space in Perrinville. Until then, the pop-up events have been community building. In a time of social distancing, they’ve proven to be a community gathering place.
“I think people are really appreciate getting good bread. We have such a rich grain economy and we try all of these different grains that are grown right in our backyard. Our bread flour is locally sourced and the loaves made with intention. It makes for unparalleled flavor. You can’t get that in a grocery store.”
Sourdough Bread Pop-Up
76th & Olympic View Drive
Perrinville, Edmonds, WA