Welcome to the first edition of our new Meet ‘n Greet series!
We often rave about out local food and how we, as a small business, strive to support the local suppliers in and near our community. We know out bakers, farmers, butcher, kombucha-maker, chocolatiers, etc. Heck, we’ve even visited our free-range chickens, fluttering about their land.
But that isn’t quite enough for us. Nope. Because guess what? We want YOU to know YOUR baker, farmer, butcher, etc. And those chickens- don’t you want a glimpse into their home life?
So get to know your food with us. Find out for yourself that your food truly is top-notch, locally-made, mindfully-produced tastiness.
First stop is at Casella & Polegato- your organic baker for our Heart Space Whole Foods shop in St. Andrews. Located down the road in Perth, Casella & Polegato is a traditional, Italian artisan bakery owned and operated by Denis Casella, master baker.
Denis Casella was born and raised in Italy into a family of bread makers- “dusted with flour,” as he says. Being fortunate to have grown up surrounded by quality-made, Italian breads, Denis felt struck with surprise as he traveled through Italy and other countries finding that he could not find bread that tasted as flavourful as that of his family’s. On the Casella & Polegato website, Denis writes:
“[I] realised that the causes were the techniques used by most modern bakers to reduce the amount of time needed to make bread, especially by shortening the fermentation process, combined with the use of inferior ingredients. In short, bread-making had too often become about producing a product that was quick to make and cheap to buy, rather that tasty, healthy and reasonably priced.”
And there, Denis committed to always prioritizing quality ingredients and traditional techniques in his recipes, in order to produce the familiar flavours he had known growing up. And that has been unwavering through his years of travel and work through Japan, Italy, and, now, with his very own bakery in Scotland.
Denis settled with his family in Perth and opened Casella & Polegato, where he works as THE baker, with the support of an apprentice and additional helper. “I’m always working or sleeping,” Denis shared. And, of course, enjoying time with his children whenever he can.
We asked Denis to share what he believes makes Casella & Polegato special- to which he responded: “[it’s] the love and passion for our product, and more than anything, our dedication to create something healthy and different.” What else? Casella & Polegato uses as many organic ingredients as possible- sometimes, the customer may not even know it! For instance, all the flour used is organic and several ingredients are ordered directly from Italy. The Casella & Polegato website shares:
“We don’t want to compete with factory-made bread because what we produce is something that only comes from being hands-on and passionate. Having said that you may well be surprised at how reasonably priced our bread is – after all, we don’t have to pay for expensive chemicals and additives!”
If you have not yet tasted one of the several varieties of bread made by Casella & Polegato, well, there’s no reason to wait any longer! Casey & Polegato delivers fresh loaves to our St. Andrews shop every Tuesday, Thursday, AND Saturday. “Semolina and chocolate bread seem to be the most famous… and sourdough!” Denis mentioned. Our Heart Space Whole Foods St. Andrews shop stocks a variety of loaves, but let us know if there’s a particular flavour you are aching to taste!
Thank you to Denis for taking the time to chat with us so that we can all learn a bit more about our St. Andrews shop baker.
As always, see you in our shops!
Written by: Evy Koutzas
[All photos used from the Casella & Polegato website]