Al Truistic’s Beer Bread Bakery story is compelling. They are a social enterprise whose goal is to sponsor the administrative budget for Ontario Parents Advocating for Children with Cancer (OPACC) by wholesaling and retailing our Craft Beer Bread products. OPACC’s focus is on Peer Support, at a time when a parent has to be strongest for their child they’re being torn apart inside. This is a lived experience for AL Truistic’s owner, Dave Munro and he wants to ensure other parents have support. OPACC has an in hospital (on hiatus in person due to pandemic) Parent Liaison program and has helped develop community based support groups modelled after the successful community based program hosted by Candlelighters Simcoe.
We currently have two Do It Yourself Craft Beer Bread kits available for wholesale and retail as well as high quality loaf pans. One kit was based on Dave’s Grandmother’s Porridge Bread recipe that he amped up. Although it’s named Oatmeal Stout it works with other dark beers like Porters and Dark Lager while Dark IPA are frowned on as this is a sweet bread. The other kit is a versatile mix and bakes well with more paler, not so malty brews like Blonde and Cream Ales to name a few with Pilsners, Lagers and Wheat Beers ale baking nice loaves.
Dave Munro started making bread again after his Mom passed away and he found the bread machine she used to make bread with about 10 years before. He was surprised when he opened the lid to find that his Grandmother’s Oatmeal Molasses recipe he and his Mom had adapted for the bread machine was inside. He looked around the kitchen and saw he had all the ingredients except yeast so he ran out and picked some up. He made the first loaf of Oatmeal Molasses bread he had in a long time, a bread he remembered making with his Mom when he was a child.
Dave’s life changed about a year and a half after his daughter was born. When she was eighteen months old he heard devastating words, “Your child has cancer.” He and his daughters Mom didn’t have time to grieve or even think as they had to learn so much in a matter of days and they had to take care of their little girl. There were new words, there were tests and scans, there were meetings with doctors, there were consent forms. They were swamped.
Like any entrepreneurial journey it’s never smooth sailing. The pandemic has been hard on everyone and sadly my small business for a couple short sighted visions from the governments we’ve had no support and we’ve struggled through.
We’re growing and had a pretty good season at the Gravenhurst Community Market the summer of ’21, had a booth in the Bala Cranberry Festival that proved to be great exposure as well as the great markets we were in leading up to the holiday season.