In 1983, I opened a very small bakery in a small Arkansas Ozark town. At that time, the population was about 2,500 persons. The area was best known for Mountain Folk Music, regional crafts and the spectacular Blanchard Springs Caverns, not far away.
We'd moved there in 1979 from Springfield, MO for the cave exploration in the area.
I had a job awaiting me at a yet to be opened bakery–deli–cafe. This business was doomed to fail and close within two years of its opening. When the handwriting was on the wall, I knew that I didn't want to leave the area. I also knew that I needed a way to fully satisfy my creative instincts, which to that date had always been suppressed by my employers. So I decided to open a bakery. In many ways, this was a foolish idea. Fortunately, my wife had obtained a seasonal job with the U.S.F.S. at Blanchard Springs Caverns that provided us with some income.
The good local people were unaccustomed to baked foods from "away". Biscuits in the morning and cornbread for supper were the general rule. "Light" bread, better known to us as white bread, was store bought and almost a luxury item for special occasions. The people from "away", like us, were more accustomed to a variety of ethnic and international bakery items. That was the environment in which the creation and development of what I called "The HearthStone Bakery" took place.
To be continued