It’s obvious that Leda Hermecz is passionate about local foods and sustainability issues. As a food consultant, she has helped develop Sprout! – a food hub located in downtown Springfield that promotes sustainable agriculture and serves as a community resource.
“I tried to get people here to do a bakery because that’s what I saw Springfield needed,” Leda said. “After trying to get about half a dozen (businesses) into this building I decided to do it myself.”
And that’s how 100 Mile Bakery happened. By sourcing ingredients for her pastries from within 100 miles of her bakery, Leda’s goal is to keep more of the food produced in the Willamette Valley within the valley. Which sounds almost unbelievable until you realize that locavorism is what Eugene, Oregon is all about.
100 Mile Bakery is located in a former church, with big windows and outdoor seating. Because it isn’t a standalone bakery, there are signs along the road for those who are unfamiliar to this area. This was incredibly helpful as all we saw was a church and no apparent food stores while driving past the street. 100 Mile also shares its kitchen space with other food entrepreneurs. Delectable treats with handwritten signs are displayed neatly on the green counter top – the overall vibe is quaint and homey.
But it’s not easy to limit food sources from within this distance. “It’s taken me years to develop rapport with the farmers because they don’t advertise on billboards,” Leda said. “It’s a face-to-face relationship and you gotta make a lot of time for it as well.”
Leda creates her menu depending on the fresh produce she receives every morning from the farmers’ market. A pretty awesome pastrami-spinach strudel ensued from an abundance of spinach she got that morning. Iced mint tea complemented the strudel very well, too.
Leda’s glad there’s an increase in local producers within the valley. “Why are we growing this absolutely gorgeous foods and shipping them across the country when we can keep them here?” she said. “It keeps the know-your-farmer level on a local scale. My community is important to me.”
And that’s how she intends to run 100 Mile Bakery – as local and sustainable as possible.
Location: 418 A Street, Springfield, Oregon 97477
Hours of Operation: Mon-Thurs: 8am-2pm, Fri: 8am-7pm, Sat & Sun: Closed