In the picturesque town of Whistler, British Columbia, a heartwarming tale of community, passion, and resilience unfolds. Meet Natasha and Ed Tatton, the dynamic duo behind Ed’s BReD, a thriving vegan/plant-based bakery that has captured the hearts and taste buds of locals and visitors alike. Their story is one of humble beginnings, the power of community, and the spirit of innovation.
It all began with a simple gesture of kindness. Natasha, a yoga enthusiast, started gifting loaves of sourdough bread to Tina, the owner of a local yoga studio, in exchange for yoga classes.
Word of mouth quickly spread, and soon, the demand for their delectable sourdough bread soared. Fueled by the support of their tight-knit community, Natasha and Ed decided to turn their passion into a business.
In March 2019, BReD officially opened its doors, marking the beginning of a journey filled with challenges and triumphs.
Little did they know, their resolve would be tested by an unexpected turn of events – the COVID-19 pandemic. With lockdowns in effect, their bakery faced an uncertain future.
However, Natasha and Ed’s resilience shone through. In the face of adversity, they swiftly pivoted their business model, launching an online store and offering a diverse range of products, including their renowned hummus and olives.
Their innovative approach and unwavering commitment to their community did not go unnoticed. Media outlets, including Forbes, featured their inspiring story, catapulting them into the spotlight. Their popularity continued to soar, leading to accolades such as the Small Business BC Award and a coveted book deal with Penguin Random House.
Their book, BReD, Sourdough Loaves, Small Breads, and Other Plant-Based Baking. is a delightful compilation of sourdough and vegan baking recipes, is a testament to their culinary expertise and creativity.
But Ed’s BReD is more than just a bakery; it’s a force for positive change. Committed to environmental sustainability, they have donated funds to plant over 67,000 trees and embraced the B Corp certification, embodying the values of social and environmental responsibility.
Natasha and Ed advocate for mindful living, emphasizing the importance of making small, conscious choices in our daily lives. Their message is clear: every action, no matter how seemingly insignificant, has the power to make a difference.
As they continue to inspire others with their story, Natasha and Ed Tatton remain grounded, dedicated to their craft and community. With their infectious passion and innovative spirit, they have redefined what it means to be successful entrepreneurs.
BReD serves as a beacon of hope, reminding us all that resilience, kindness, and unity can pave the way for a brighter future. So, the next time you savor a slice of their delectable sourdough BReD, remember the heartwarming journey that brought this culinary masterpiece to your table – a journey that embodies the true essence of community and determination.
About Ed and Natasha Tatton
Originally hailing from Kent in the UK, Ed immersed himself in the world of fine dining kitchens across the globe, cultivating his passion for sourdough since 2008. In 2013, Ed and his partner Natasha ventured to Canada for a season of snowboarding. During their stay, they both worked in the hospitality industry, with Ed finding his place in the farm-to-table restaurant Alta Bistro in Whistler, BC.
In the summer of 2014, while taking a break from the hospitality scene and working on farms in Vancouver Island, Ed began a sourdough culture. He brought this newfound passion back to Alta Bistro, where he initiated a successful bread program for the restaurant.
By 2016, Ed’s talent for baking had gained widespread acclaim, leading him to rent the bistro’s kitchen to fulfill the growing demand for his artisanal loaves. With overwhelming support from friends and their network, Ed and his wife Natasha joined forces to establish an entirely plant-based organic sourdough bread shop in Creekside, Whistler. Natasha, drawing on her background as an English teacher and examiner, as well as her extensive hospitality experience, played a pivotal role in this culinary endeavor.
Their dedication to veganism, cultivated over five years, shaped their business ethos. Ed and Natasha firmly believed in creating food they themselves would enjoy, inspiring the birth of their plant-based bakery. The bakery offered an array of delectable loaves for pick-up in-store, complemented by a selection of small baked items and espresso-based coffees. The coffee offerings featured direct-trade, Australian-inspired Vancouver-roasted blends, characterized by smooth, rich flavors with hints of deep chocolate, syrupy sweetness, and cherry-like fruitiness. To cater to diverse preferences, they provided oat, almond, soy, or coconut alternatives to conventional cow’s milk.
BReD, their brainchild, emphasized a commitment to local sourcing, with more than 50% of their non-labor expenses derived from nearby independent suppliers, predominantly within Vancouver, the closest city to Whistler village. Their customer base predominantly consisted of locals, with at least 75% residing in the Sea to Sky Corridor or Vancouver. Adhering to their dedication to local produce, BReD’s menu rotated with the seasons, ensuring that ingredients like carrots, for instance, were featured when locally sourced, avoiding reliance on overseas imports.