Verdant Bread started as a seed of an idea between two friends—if bread had been used to gather people together for centuries, Tanner Fink and Jaymin McAffrey reasoned, what could locally-crafted, handmade bread do for Charlotte today?
Tanner, a transplant from Montana, and Jaymin, here from Texas, already loved tinkering around in their respective kitchens and both had connections working with some of the most well-respected eateries in the area—The Pickled Peach, Kindred, Hex Coffee. So when the duo realized they shared a fascination for fermentation… well, Verdant Bread was born. “We cook, bake, eat, and creatively push each other forward,” Tanner says.
Their bread is undeniably beautiful to look at, made carefully from a homemade sourdough starter, but it’s also complexly flavorful and perfectly textured. Part of this comes from the management of the living culture necessary for sourdough. It’s a fine science resulting in a richer tasting bread that’s also (cheers, health nuts) easier to digest. The kitchen—often Hex’s roastery in Camp North End—has become Tanner and Jaymin’s lab: “I love how committed you have to be to good bread,” Jaymin explains. “Each batch of dough is a learning experience. My favorite tactic has been: Do it, learn from it, talk about it, learn from others, apply what youʼve learned.”
Today, Verdant is popping up all over the city, with menus that change each time. The sandwich choices are curated by Tanner and executed by him, Jaymin, and their newest member, Ryan Faircloth. They plate up the artisanal loaves with choices like a smoked pork with smoked leek, fennel, and smoked apple soubise sammie, or turn the bread into savory bread pudding and sweet toasts. The vegetables are dictated by whatever produce is in season, and Tanner tries to source the meat and cheese as locally as possible, too.
Follow @verdant_bread to see where the guys will be popping up next.