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Bread business rises at market

Oregon City-based baker brings his wares to Forest Grove


by: COURTESY PHOTO - Greg Arnold brings a variety of fresh breads to the Forest Grove Farmers Market every week--and always sells out.A second-career baker is using the Forest Grove Farmers Market as a place to let his bread business rise.

Greg Arnold, owner of Oregon City-based BigFoot Bread Company, has set up shop on Main Street during the local market, which is sponsored by the nonprofit Adelante Mujeres, every Wednesday since 2010. The market was lacking a bread vendor for more than a year when the manager approached Arnold.

“I remember a lot of people told me I would have to learn Spanish and need to translate all of my labels to accommodate our Hispanic community,” Arnold recalled. “Also people told me I would have to lower prices, which I have to do for a different market (ironically in one of the richest communities in Portland), but I found out all those who gave me this ill advice were wrong.”

Today, he says, the diversity of the community — and eager shoppers — keep him coming, not to mention that he regularly sells out of bread each week.

Arnold recounts how he was first interested in baking. “My mother, who is Hispanic, told me as a 10-year old boy that if I wanted to have dessert with dinner, then I better learn to bake. She was my inspiration to start with cakes and pies.

“She never taught me bread baking, but it was her encouragement to bake at an early age that I believe was the foundation of my skill set today.”

It wasn’t until after being laid off in 2008 from construction work, however, that Arnold considered baking as a career path. “I answered an ad on Craigslist for a bread company delivery person,” he said, and the next thing he knew he was learning how to bake breads, pitas, bagels and more. He also learned important business skills, which helped him embark on his own company after Serious Bread closed in 2009.

After months of planning, preparing and a few bumps along the way, BigFoot Bread Company emerged. Along with Arnold’s hobbies, which include 3D digital art, music and directing high school drama programs, he says that bread is yet another creative outlet.

Since his start at the Forest Grove market, Arnold has gone back to those who’ve warned him against the market and told them how good it’s been for his business.

“It’s just a great market nestled in an old-time downtown in the shadow of Pacific University, where the hippies dred their hair, the sports folks run by on the sidewalk and the food is as yummy as it is unique,” Arnold said, adding he would still like to learn Spanish, “considering my mother would be happy if I would embrace my heritage.”

You can find BigFoot Bread favorites such as Joshua’s Toasting Bread, focaccia, cinnamon rolls, and others every Wednesday at FGFM or at their storefront at 616 Main Street in Oregon City.




Local Weather

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Forest Grove

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Humidity: 36%

Wind: 13 mph

  • 22 Aug 2014

    Clear 79°F 57°F

  • 23 Aug 2014

    Sunny 88°F 58°F