Ethos Bakery offers character

By Loretto J. Hulse, Herald food writerOctober 28, 2011 

You can't miss the main oven at Ethos Bakery. Standing about 6 feet high and 7 feet or so wide, with 27.5 square feet of baking surface -- it's massive.

The oven also is wood- fired, so when it's in use, the bakery has a wonderful subtle smoky aroma.

The bakery is the come-to-life dream of Angela Kora, 27, and Scot Newell, 35.

Standing in the spacious, open kitchen during the bakery's grand opening celebration Thursday, Kora said, "This is an idea that's been in the works for over two years."

The bakery is one of the start-up businesses in the Port of Benton's Tri-Cities Enterprise Center on Logston Boulevard in Richland. Next door is White Bluffs Brewing.

"They told me that 50 percent of their pizzas go next door to White Bluffs Brewing," said Jan Jackson, who handles marketing for the port. "People go the brewery, order their beer and then walk next door for a pizza and take it back to the brewery."

Kora and Newell opened the bakery Oct. 1 and already noticed they have a few "regulars."

"Some of the retirees in the Horn Rapids area show up about 9 a.m. for their coffee and a scone," Kora said.

Originally they planned to just bake bread in the wood-fired oven. They have a second convection oven for baking scones, muffins, biscotti and granola.

"Adding pizzas was a suggestion from Mike (Sutherland) at the brewery next door," Newell said. "Beer and pizza, it's a natural pairing."

Kora has been baking since she was a child. She became hooked on wood-fired ovens after tasting bread baked in one.

"It was more than just wonderful," she said.

They found a distributor for French-made Le Panyol ovens in Maine and hired a mason from Vancouver, Wash., to assemble it.

Newell declined to say what it cost but joked, "I tell everyone it costs the same as a new Ford F-250 pickup."

To learn how to use the oven, Kora spent some time in Maine with the distributors who have one set up for classes.

They also spent time with the bakers at Ken's Artisan Bakery in Portland, which also has a Le Panyol oven.

The two opted for a totally open floor plan for Ethos. Walking in the front door is like walking into their kitchen. The only barrier between the customer and their work space is a wood table.

"We wanted people to be able to see where their food is made," Kora said.

There's seating for 12 by the front door and they have soft drinks for those who want to eat in.

The majority of their pizzas go out the door. A 12-inch pizza runs $12 to $14.

There only are four pizzas on the menu -- Newell said they chose quality over quantity.

That also is how they approach the ingredients they buy.

They bought wheat from a farmer on Snake River Road in Franklin County and mill it into flour themselves.

Their milk comes from Pure Eire dairy in Othello.

They picked blueberries for their scones and muffins at a Grandview U-pick farm and nearly all the cheeses they use come from Cheese Louise in Richland.

"Even the cherry wood for the oven comes from an orchard in Finley," Kora said.

Ethos Bakery is open from 7 to 10 a.m. Wednesday through Friday, and from 4 to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

"They're catching a lot of the Hanford workers in the morning who stop in for a quick breakfast. Afternoons on the weekdays are pretty dead," Jackson said.

Weekends, when business picks up at the brewery and nearby winery Thomas O'Neil Cellars, there's a lot more traffic, Jackson said.

The phone number is 942-8799.

-- Loretto J. Hulse: 582-1513; lhulse@tricityherald.com

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