Read how the Empire LFKR Deck Oven helped acclaimed chef and baker Jeff Cleary realize his dream to fuse chef-inspired flavors and textures with old-world baking techniques to create custom variations of superbly baked artisan bread and rolls.
In 2005, restaurant owner Jeff Cleary sold his restaurants to pursue his love of baking full time and opened the Grateful Bread Company. Grateful Bread, a nod to the famous rock band, quickly became a premier artisan bread and bun supplier to many of Denver’s finest hotels and restaurants. Chosen as one of 2015 Colorado Companies to Watch Winner, Grateful Bread uses only the finest ingredients such as 100% locally milled, non-GMO wheat flour. Jeff and his team of highly trained artisan bakers take pride in hand-shaping every single loaf to ensure the most authentic artisan breads possible. “We’re passionate about quality,” states Jeff. “Every piece of bread is handcrafted in true artisan style.” Jeff enjoys designing custom artisan breads for his restaurant and hotel clients who are some of the best chefs in Denver and as committed to quality as he is.
Up until a year ago, Jeff was baking all of his artisan creations in a steam injected convection oven. “With some hard work and fine-tuning, I was able to get the bread and rolls close to the consistency that I desired, but this oven was both high in maintenance and energy costs and lacked the capacity to take on my growing business. I needed a better, more efficient oven.”
Then last year, Jeff purchased the Empire LFKR Deck Oven w/ Sirio Loader. “I researched and looked at a few different brands before deciding on this particular Italian brand that Empire carried,” stated Jeff. Empire worked closely with us to get the oven installed and running pretty quick. Since the installation, we have never had one single issue.”
“Once we started using the Empire LFKR Deck Oven, the color and consistency of our bread was brought to a whole new level, especially the crusty breads such as our French baguettes and ciabatta bread. One of our fine restaurant customers noticed the improvement and commented that our bread was now even more sophisticated.”
Jeff also explained, “With the new Empire LFKR Deck Oven, I can do a much greater volume with much better energy efficiency. In fact, the energy costs for the Empire deck oven is one-third the costs of the convection oven. Jeff added, “And I can’t imagine getting the bread into the oven without the help of the loader. It’s a big-time saver.”
With the addition of the Empire LFKR Deck Oven, the Grateful Bread Company’s artisan creations can now finish with the same quality that goes into each of their carefully designed hand-rolled breads and rolls. For that, Jeff is very “grateful”!
Learn more about Jeff Cleary’s journey from acclaimed chef to award winning baker! Visit www.gratefulbread.com.