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Artisan bread booth rises at market

Sweetrock Bakery brings recipes from Switzerland to Main Street Forest Grove


by: COURTESY PHOTO - Dianne Vireday, owner/baker at Sweetrock Farm Swiss Bakery and Herbary, sells her wares at the Forest Grove Farmers Market, along with Sarah Shenker, who helps her at her booth on Main Street.Thanks to Dianne Vireday, the owner of Sweetrock Farm Swiss Bakery and Herbary, a taste of Switzerland can be found at the Forest Grove Farmers Market, a program of the nonprofit Adelante Mujeres.

Vireday offers market shoppers traditional Swiss breads — including Valais Rye made from 100 percent rye flour; Wurzelbrot, a cross between a baguette and ciabatta; and treats such as anise cookies and chocolate filled croissants.

Vireday’s parents immigrated to the United States in the 1950s, seeking what some might consider the American dream. Originally from Switzerland, “they came to experience and live in a bigger setting — bigger house, land, dogs, etc. on two acres with a pool and horses in California and Las Vegas,” she explained. While in her 20s, Vireday worked at many restaurants and attended the Western Culinary Institute (now Cordon Bleu). She contributes much of her cooking and food service skills, however, to her father — a retired chef — and her appreciation for Swiss cuisine and culture to her mother.

Like her parents, Vireday, too, had a dream: to start a bakery and herbary. She noticed that there was a dearth of good artisan bread in Washington County, so in 2009 she and her husband, Bob McCormick, found a three-acre farm in Helvetia. They planted a garden, built a greenhouse and raised a flock of chickens, which now supply them with fresh eggs for their pastries. They also use local flours from Bob’s Red Mill and Shephard’s Grain, milk from Schoch Dairy and other local ingredients.

“These things all came together: my experience in cooking and catering, my Swiss heritage and love of good crusty bread, and the need for a local artisan bakery,” said Vireday.

Sweetrock Farm is new to the Forest Grove Farmers Market this year, but Vireday says they’ve found a welcome niche. “The [downtown] buildings seem to get smaller when the market is busy and full. The music is good, the people are really really terrific, and the variety and high-quality of items at the market by professional and experienced vendors is just wonderful. I feel part of a community,” said Vireday.

Sweetrock is at the market every Wednesday, 4 to 7 p.m. now through Oct. 30. For more information visit sweetrockfarm.com.

Kaely Summers is manager of the Forest Grove Farmers Market.



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