You’re going to have to rely on the wafting smells of baking bread to locate Acme Bakeshop discreetly tucked into a pocket of Garden City. While the outside of the building might be nondescript, what they produce inside is anything but.
Owner and head baker Michael Runsvold got his humble beginnings baking at a local bagel shop when he was in high school. He worked at a variety of bakeries around the Treasure Valley before starting Acme Bakeshop in 2012.
By the time we caught up with Runsvold, he was sitting on a milk crate soaking up the sun and enjoying a beer. It’s 10 am and the end of the workday that started eight hours earlier. Runsvold and his team of eight full-time bakers produce their full menu of items seven days a week with the addition of specialty pastries on the weekend. By mid-morning, the ovens are turned off, and the cooling racks are bare as the drivers have hit the road, delivering baked goods to over 40 restaurants and numerous retail outlets across the valley.
Inside the front door sits a palette of flour. 55 bags. 50 pounds each. Eighteen more bags will arrive tomorrow. That’s more than 3000 pounds of flour, sourced primarily from Shepherd’s Grain grown on the Palouse in Washington. And that’s just this week’s worth.
When asked what his favorite item is, Runsvold responds, “It’s just the simple baguette. That they can be made out of just four ingredients – water, yeast, flour, and salt.”
And what’s the most challenging? Runsvold responds that it’s not a particular item. It’s the scheduling to ensure everything that needs baked gets done in the time they have. “It’s about not making mistakes,” he says and then pauses to laugh before adding, “or not too many mistakes.”
When asked about his training, Runsvold says, “I’ve taken some classes and read some books, but otherwise, I’m self-taught, which is the best way.” It’s hard to argue otherwise with this James Beard Foundation “Outstanding Baker” semifinalist.
Acme Bakeshop + Chandlers
Bread service at Chandlers includes two offerings from Acme Bakeshop – rosemary focaccia and a sourdough dinner roll made from a starter that Runsvold has been nurturing since 2011. The two together equates to around 3000 rolls a week.
We know it’s the attention to all the little details that make a great finished product and seek out purveyors that feel the same. We know we’ve found that partner in Acme Bakeshop.