The Wayfare Baker is an artisan baking company which produces old world style, naturally leavened sourdough breads. Our bread is produced out of The Wayfare Baker commercial kitchen in Bethlehem Township, Pennsylvania, and distributed to restaurants, retail locations, and seasonal farmers markets.
John Glagola, the owner and founder of The Wayfare Baker, began his studies at the Culinary Institute of America – Hyde Park, with a much different path in mind. When beginning his studies at the CIA John was on a journey to become a Chef and would continue on that path for some time. After completing his degree John worked for the Barbara Lynch Gruppo in Boston at their flagship restaurant No. 9 Park as a Commis. When the BLG began hiring for their new fine dining restaurant Menton, John was ask to be part of the opening team and would continue cooking there for some time. But, something was missing from the cooking profession that left John feeling unfulfilled. One day John walked past the bread station at the Menton and decided to try shaping a couple loafs of bread. It was incredible! So he began going to the restaurant early and helping the bakers before his evening shift. The simplicity of flour, water and salt which could be transformed into bread through the process of fermentation fascinated him in a way nothing else had before. So John embarked on the journey of baking full time.
Richard Bourdon, of Berkshire Mountain Bakery would be the Baker that became John’s mentor. Richard only believed in sourdough fermentation with old world style technique. Over the process of Johns apprenticeship, Richard would teach him how to mix, shape, and bake bread in the correct way, to produce bread which could be properly digested and delicious.
After completing his apprenticeship with Richard, John began his studies abroad in Europe, traveling mostly through Italy and France. While in Italy John apprenticed under another bread baker who only used ancient grains grown, milled, and produced, on his land. The use of ancient grains up until this point were something of a myth for John, often talked but not widely used. And the Italian baker showed not only the importance of using whole grains but the amazing flavor characteristics that they provided.
Upon returning to the United States John began the process to open his own artisanal baking company. He knew it had to be a place with characteristics promising for making bread. This meant temperate climate and access to delicious local organic grains. After thoughtful deliberation his hometown of Bethlehem, PA was the ideal location to source organic local grains and share his knowledge of bread with the world.