Skip to main content

Rise Above

03/19/2013 03:02PM, Published by Gary VanDeWalker, Categories: In Print, Community




story: Gary VanDeWalker photo: photographybytaryn.com

THE WEED BAKERY

Sourdough bread has a pungent, tangy taste unique to the age, humidity and elevation of the starter dough. A small portion of the starter is set aside, and if fed flour and water daily, it will last for years. The bread became the main food item of the California Gold Rush, as “sourdough” became a nickname for miners. Today, the bread is a mainstay of the Weed Bakery and the starter of a dream for Mike Michelon and his wife, Margie.

The small-town bakery is an original Weed business, founded in 1906 by the Alfier brothers. Many of the original bakers were Italians, first passing through Ellis Island before spending their early mornings producing the sweet and sour breads of the bakery. Since 2007, the Michelons, along with their daughter and son-in-law, Marlena and Kevin Shaffer, can be found as early as 2 am mixing and rolling dough as the aroma of fresh-baked bread makes the early morning passerby wants to grab for the knife and butter.

The heart of the business is the brick kiln oven. Produced by the famous J.P. Glaser Company in San Francisco, it was built prior to 1917 and is one of only three Glaser ovens left in operation. Originally heated by wood, a diesel warmer heats the brick oven for two hours a day, leaving the brick at a constant 400-degree cooking temperature, 24 hours a day. In 1917, a fire destroyed the bakery and home above, but left the oven unscathed, allowing the present structure to be rebuilt around its heart.

“The bakery is a working museum,” says manager Teresa Ecklund. “The baking implements are antiques, giving an old-time feel to each day’s creations.” The meat slicer is 86 years old, run by ball-bearings. Large 15-foot wooden paddles hang overhead to assist passing the baked goods in and out of the 15x10-foot oven. The original weighted scale is used daily, not replaced by its digital cousin.

Overhead, the baker’s quarters await restoration, below is a basement which once led to a maze of tunnels beneath the city. The side street of Inez is named after the niece of Paul Brunello, owner and baker in 1930.

Flavorful loaves of sweet French, sun-dried tomato and basil, jalapeno cheese and cinnamon breads lay in silent regiments on the shelves. Trays of baked goods twist their way to local restaurants and stores that distribute the creations to homes throughout the area. In the business front, espressos, Italian sodas, and sandwiches layered between fresh made Panini are served until 2 pm.

Michelon, the superintendent of four area elementary schools, has long ties to Weed, his Italian grandfather arriving in 1925. This relative was the starter. Just as generations of sourdough loaves come from a common batch, the Michelons have joined the generations of bakers who have made the Weed Bakery rise above the rest.



spotlight


  • Spring 2017 Home and Garden Expo

    03/26/2017
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    This event includes hundreds of exhibits with merchandise, product demonstrations and sample inte...


  • Spring 2017 Home and Garden Expo

    03/26/2017
    01:00PM — 06:00PM

    Popovics Home and Garden Expo is coming to the Shasta District Fair and Event Center! This is y...


It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

  • Free Retail Healthy Food Sampling

    03/28/2017
    03:00PM — 04:30PM

    Celebrate National Nutrition Month with Free retail healthy food samplings on March 28, 2017 at A...


  • Shasta Bike Challenge

    03/28/2017
    06:00PM — 08:00PM

    Under the guidance of several longtime RMB members, you will be guided through the process of m...


  • Work Readiness Event

    03/30/2017
    09:00AM — 01:00PM

    Nervous about finding a job? Not sure how to get started? Come to the 2nd annual Work Readiness E...


  • Free Retail Healthy Food Sampling

    03/30/2017
    03:00PM — 04:30PM

    Celebrate National Nutrition Month with Free retail healthy food samplings on March 30, 2017 at S...


  • Beauty and the Beast, Jr.

    03/30/2017
    07:00PM

    Be Our Guest! You are invited to come to SSCCC’s amazing presentation of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST JR...


  • Tarzan

    03/31/2017
    07:00PM

    Based on Disney's epic animated musical adventure, Tarzan features heart-pumping music by rock le...


  • Beauty and the Beast, Jr.

    03/31/2017
    07:00PM

    Be Our Guest! You are invited to come to SSCCC’s amazing presentation of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST JR...


  • This Year Come to Red Bluff and Celebrate All Fool's Day aka April Fools Day! A Double Header We...


  • Cesar Chavez Day of Service

    03/25/2017
    07:00AM

    Clean up day in memory of Mr. Chavez to honor his legacy of commitment to equality and community ...


  • Dolores Huerta Day of Service

    03/25/2017
    08:00AM

    Feed the Homeless Event. We will be assisting with feeding the homeless population in Tehama Coun...


  • FREE family fun. Come join us at our 5th annual poultry show. See hundreds of purebred chickens a...


  • Spring 2017 Home and Garden Expo

    03/25/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    This event includes hundreds of exhibits with merchandise, product demonstrations and sample inte...


  • Spring 2017 Home and Garden Expo

    03/25/2017
    01:00PM — 06:00PM

    Popovics Home and Garden Expo is coming to the Shasta District Fair and Event Center! This is y...


  • We'll have live music at the Tied House as we celebrate! All In DIPA 16oz cans release party! Sp...


  • Wildcard Brewing Company's Brewhouse Tours

    03/25/2017
    04:30PM — 05:00PM

    Want to know more about what goes on behind the scenes at Wildcard? Join us for a tour. This is y...


  • Canvas and Cocktails

    03/25/2017
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Come drink and paint with us! You don’t need ANY art experience to enjoy this evening of fun, mus...


  • Pretty In Pink Prom

    03/25/2017
    07:00PM — 11:00PM

    Join Nor-Cal Think Pink at their 2nd Annual Pretty In Pink Prom Benefit Night. Enjoy hors d'oeurv...


  • Redding Community Contra Dance

    03/25/2017
    07:00PM — 10:00PM

    What is contra? Contra dance is the American cousin to Scottish and English Country set dances. I...


  • Spring 2017 Home and Garden Expo

    03/26/2017
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    This event includes hundreds of exhibits with merchandise, product demonstrations and sample inte...


  • Spring 2017 Home and Garden Expo

    03/26/2017
    01:00PM — 06:00PM

    Popovics Home and Garden Expo is coming to the Shasta District Fair and Event Center! This is y...


  • Free Retail Healthy Food Sampling

    03/28/2017
    03:00PM — 04:30PM

    Celebrate National Nutrition Month with Free retail healthy food samplings on March 28, 2017 at A...


  • Shasta Bike Challenge

    03/28/2017
    06:00PM — 08:00PM

    Under the guidance of several longtime RMB members, you will be guided through the process of m...


  • Wildcard Brewing Company's Midweek Madness

    03/29/2017
    02:00PM — 08:00PM

    Visit either Wildcard location on Wednesday and get $3 off a growler fill.


  • Beauty and the Beast, Jr.

    03/29/2017
    07:00PM

    Be Our Guest! You are invited to come to SSCCC’s amazing presentation of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST JR...


  • Work Readiness Event

    03/30/2017
    09:00AM — 01:00PM

    Nervous about finding a job? Not sure how to get started? Come to the 2nd annual Work Readiness E...


  • Free Retail Healthy Food Sampling

    03/30/2017
    03:00PM — 04:30PM

    Celebrate National Nutrition Month with Free retail healthy food samplings on March 30, 2017 at S...


  • Beauty and the Beast, Jr.

    03/30/2017
    07:00PM

    Be Our Guest! You are invited to come to SSCCC’s amazing presentation of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST JR...


  • Tarzan

    03/31/2017
    07:00PM

    Based on Disney's epic animated musical adventure, Tarzan features heart-pumping music by rock le...


  • Beauty and the Beast, Jr.

    03/31/2017
    07:00PM

    Be Our Guest! You are invited to come to SSCCC’s amazing presentation of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST JR...


  • This Year Come to Red Bluff and Celebrate All Fool's Day aka April Fools Day! A Double Header We...


  • Love Your Pet Expo 2017

    04/01/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    10th annual free pet-friendly event, with charity auction, pet adoptions, low cost vaccines, hear...


  • Friends of Shasta County Libraries

    04/01/2017
    10:00AM — 01:00PM

    On Saturday, April 1st, 2017, the Friends of the Shasta County Libraries will sell gently used bo...


  • Tarzan

    04/01/2017
    02:00PM

    Based on Disney's epic animated musical adventure, Tarzan features heart-pumping music by rock le...


  • Art Roster 5th Annual Forgery Show

    04/01/2017
    04:00PM — 07:00PM

    The Forgery Show is an annual art exhibit featuring the work of Mt. Shasta's ArtRoster Atelier pa...


  • Wildcard Brewing Company's Brewhouse Tours

    04/01/2017
    04:30PM — 05:00PM

    Want to know more about what goes on behind the scenes at Wildcard? Join us for a tour. This is y...


  • 2017 Young Artist Showcase

    04/01/2017
    05:00PM — 08:00PM

    HIGHLAND ART CENTER ANNUAL YOUNG ARTIST’S SHOWCASE Weaverville, CA, March 22, 2017– It’s t...


  • Bunco Night Fundraiser

    04/01/2017
    06:00PM — 08:30PM

    Join us for a fun night of rolling dice! It's BUNCO time! This is a fun fundraiser that benefits ...


  • Tarzan

    04/01/2017
    07:00PM

    Based on Disney's epic animated musical adventure, Tarzan features heart-pumping music by rock le...


  • Rumi’s Caravan brings to life the rich tradition of ecstatic poetry, featuring the mystical poems...


  • This Year Come to Red Bluff and Celebrate All Fool's Day aka April Fools Day! A Double Header ...


  • Mojo Child at The Dip

    04/01/2017
    08:00PM

    "The Feast is about to begin..." -Jim Morrison Mojo Child delivers Doors music that is fun, en...


  • Clear Creek Wildflowers and Wild Plants

    04/02/2017
    01:00PM — 03:00PM

    Come walk with David Ledger from the Native Plant Society. Enjoy the beauty of blooming wildflow...


  • Tarzan

    04/02/2017
    02:00PM

    Based on Disney's epic animated musical adventure, Tarzan features heart-pumping music by rock le...


  • Mornings with Mommy

    04/04/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    Mornings with Mommy isn't preschool and it isn't childcare. It's something different. Mornings wi...


  • Art Roster 5th Annual Forgery Show

    04/04/2017
    04:00PM — 07:00PM

    The Forgery Show is an annual art exhibit featuring the work of Mt. Shasta's ArtRoster Atelier pa...


Check out our sister publication, Enjoy Magazine: South Valley Living
Wedding Style Guide 2017
Enjoy Magazine Facebook
Enjoy Magazine Instagram Instagram
Enjoy Magazine Pinterest Enjoy Magazine

Enjoy Our Sponsors