When Durham's Ninth Street Bakery (ninthstbakery.com) opened in 1981, it was the only place in town to find fresh, locally baked goods. "Bread was all commercial and people were still eating tons of white bread," says Frank Ferrell, who started the business with his wife and brother. Since then, the scene has "changed significantly," Ferrell adds. "It's been a slow process, but it seems like it's really kicked into high gear in the past three or four or five years."
At 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 3, Ferrell will lead the "Artisan Bakers of Durham" panel discussion at the main branch of the Durham County Library with six fellow Durham bakers. Panelists will include Anna Branly of The Cupcake Bar (which is slated to open later this summer in the Five Points building downtown), Claudia Kemmet-Cooper of Guglhupf, Kevin Farmer of Rue Cler, Phoebe Lawless of Scratch, Ron Graff of Loaf and Rob Nichols, a Durham resident who bakes at Weaver Street Market.
The event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit durhamcountylibrary.org.
Coon Rock Farm of Hillsborough (coonrockfarm.com) also hopes to increase access to local food. The farm's owners, Richard Holcomb and Jamie DeMent, recently purchased Bella Bean Organics (www.bellabeanorganics.com), a web-based business that delivers local and organic foods to individual homes and businesses through a customizable subscription service.
Coon Rock has worked alongside other area farmers to supply meat and produce to Bella Bean for the past three years. DeMent says Coon Rock plans to continue to work with other farms, particularly through Eastern Carolina Organics, which pools harvested foods from several growers across the region.
"Our first rule right now is don't break anything," DeMent says.
DeMent hopes Coon Rock can extend the service to a larger delivery area. While Bella Bean was before limited to homes or businesses in Orange and Durham counties, it will now also reach into parts of Wake, Alamance and Franklin.
"We're just going to expand the offerings," DeMent says. "We'd like to be able to say we're your grocery store at your front door."
To learn more about the home delivery service or to sign up for a subscription, visit Bella Bean's website.
May 24 is the kickoff of the Nasher Museum's "Dinner and a Movie" series, which will take place every third or fourth Thursday between May and August (nasher.duke.edu). Films screen for free at 7 p.m. in the Nasher's lecture hall, and all will have a food focus. This week finds Big Night, which follows two brothers as they try to successfully run a restaurant. At 5 p.m., prior to the screening, the Nasher cafe will offer dinner specials and its regular sandwich and salad menu. For more information about the films or to make a restaurant reservation, visit the Nasher online.
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