“My whole goal was that I wanted to keep myself busy and get my name out there, but I found that it is really helping me get my recipes and production schedule down,” explains Herrington.
For now, Leavened is operating out of the home of Cleveland Bagel on Detroit Avenue. Of the two bakes he’s done so far, both have sold out.
“I started out really small because I didn’t think that the response would be as big as it was,” he reports. “For the second bake I doubled production and sold out. The next one I will double again and we’ll see what happens.”
His product line for the time being is limited given his makeshift circumstances and lack of specialized baking equipment, but customers can expect items like olive fougasse, pain de mie, rosemary-sea salt focaccia, citrus-cinnamon buns and cheddar-scallion scones.
“All the stuff that I’m baking now are things that I was planning on having on the menu at the bakery, but it’s not close to the full amount of things I will be having once we open,” he adds.
Herrington’s next bake will be this coming Wednesday. Prospective customers will find a menu and order form on the bakery’s Instagram (@leavenedcle) sometime today. The breads will baked and delivered throughout Cleveland. He is also accepting some pick-up business.
Asked about the proliferation of home baking during the stay-at-home period, Herrington says it can only translate into good things for bakers like himself.
“People have all of this time on their hands and they always wanted to try and bake bread, so they said, let’s give it a go,” he notes. “But I think once people start going back to work they will lose all that extra free time that they had to experiment. I’m hoping that they’ll replace that with coming to the bakery and will be more educated and appreciative about what goes into making a loaf of bread.”
When it opens in late summer, Leavened will offer a full line of artisan products like naturally leavened loaves, croissants, Danishes, brioche buns and many others. Those items will be available for purchase at the retail shop, but also at bulk to wholesale accounts.
Ian Herrington is still eyeing a late-summer opening for Leavened, his artisan bakery that will take up residence on the ground floor of The Tappan building presently rising in Tremont. But beginning last week, the former On the Rise staffer began baking and selling his products as a way to look ahead.