How We Started

handmade pastries, locally roasted coffee, soups, sandwiches and panini

How We Started

Living the Good Life' Scott and Helen Nearing wrote : “. . . We left the city with three objectives in mind. The first was economic. We sought to make a depression-free living, as independent as possible of the commodity and labour markets, which could not be interfered with by employers, whether businessmen, politicians or educational administrators. Our second aim was hygienic. We wanted to maintain and improve our health. We knew that the pressures of city life were exacting, and we sought a simple basis of well-being where contact with the earth, and home-grown organic food, would play a large part. Our third objective was social and ethical.”

Leaving the comfort and excitement of New York City for the peace and serenity of the mountains is the dream of many people.

Dan Leader moved his family to the Catskill Mountains in 1983 with the dream of building a wood-fired, brick oven bread bakery and establishing a healthy life. Having been inspired by the ‘back-to-the-land’ movement through such great thinkers as Krishnamurti, Fukuoka’s One Straw Revolution and most importantly, Helen and Scott Nearing, Bread Alone Bakery blossomed in the rural town of Boiceville, NY and began making deliveries through out the Hudson Valley and into NYC via the newly created ‘NYC Greenmarket’.

By 1985 a new oven was needed. Oven Mason, Andre LeFort was brought over from Paris to create a unique oven, complete with Iron cast from forges that Andre’s family had worked with for five generations. A book on organic, whole grain baking was written and published (Bread Alone, William Morrow) , introducing thousands of people to the simple joys of baking bread at home as well as to Dan's story and the building of the bakery.

Bread Alone expanded in 1988 to include a café and a pastry room. Bread Alone Woodstock Cafe opened in 1994 and Bread Alone Rhinebeck in 1998; expanding our community meeting place to both sides of the Hudson River.

Bread Alone Bakery currently bakes both organic whole grain breads and all natural, hand made pastries in its main bakery. With three cafés in the Hudson Valley, many loaves of bread are enjoyed and many healthy meals are served. We invite you to join us every day! See “Where to Buy” for a comprehensive listing of where you can find us.

Every day our ovens are lit with wood and our chimney’s spout the success of another day’s bake. People gather, break bread, gossip over coffee or pick up one of our well-loved fruit tarts; community is served and another day of baking secures its place in history.