Around Bosco: The Bosco Bread Company, An Initiative Designed To Give Back To The Community
by John Udabe
One of the newest (and best tasting) additions to the Bosco community is the Bosco Bread Company, which caters to any member of the community in need of a yummy addition to their meal.
The idea of the Bosco Bread Company was conceived back in 2020 alongside the creation of a community garden, which was built earlier this year behind the baseball field. The garden was created to help increase Bosco’s sustainability and to be used as a unifying system for the Bosco community. Eventually, the garden became a tool to help the students better understand the process of farm-to-table.
As the garden was being developed, the question soon arose as to how the garden could be both environmentally beneficial and profitable for St. John Bosco. With various herbs being grown in the garden, the Bosco Bread Company was formed as a way to utilize the locally grown aromatics. Since Bosco now has a supply of organic herbs on campus, they could then be used to make homemade bread in the Bosco kitchen. By January of 2021, the first order of bread boxes began to be delivered to customers.
The architect behind the bread company is Bosco mom, Mrs. Alexandra Diaz. Mrs. Diaz has a bachelor’s degree in art history and a second bachelor’s degree in food science as well as a culinary degree.
“I come up with what the box will be every month. I try to make [the bread] sustainable and economically friendly because we are just starting up,” said Mrs. Diaz.
The boxes are carefully planned out every month by Mrs. Diaz, featuring seasonal bread, determined by what is available at the time. Subscription boxes are sent out on a monthly basis, and each box includes a loaf of bread as well as a secondary bread, for example boxes may include garlic knots, dinner rolls, bagels or even scones.
And the boxes are not just limited to bread. They also include items such as infused butter and oil or jam. These items are homemade in the Bosco kitchen as well. In addition to all these items, a recipe card is included that offers ways to creatively use the bread, store it and repurpose it.
Noting the versatility of the items, Mrs. Diaz highlighted the garlic knots, saying, “You can always blend them up and use them to bread a chicken,” and in referencing the added items in the April box, added, “We did infused oil this month, garlic, rosemary and crushed peppers in there, so then I put in a recipe to make a salad dressing.”
The possibilities are extensive with the bread box items, whether that be by using the oils and butter to put on a steak, or even creating an open-faced pizza with bagels. A popular bit of feedback from the subscribers has been the freshness of the bread. The bread is baked fresh, packaged and sent out to the buyer the same day. However, a frequent concern has been gluten sensitivity or intolerance. Mrs. Diaz has worked hard to make this a non-issue.
“Some people are gluten intolerant and some people are wheat intolerant, so I try to come up with recipes that will be friendly to everybody,” Mrs. Diaz said.
These special orders are baked away from the other bread in order to guarantee quality control. The bread box has been popular with alumni, as they have found that the Bosco Bread Company is an enjoyable and delicious way to support Bosco and another way to get Bosco into their homes.
As the Bosco Bread Company grows, more goals are being set. Mrs. Diaz said the next steps include reducing plastic usage in order to increase the school’s environmental sustainability. Another goal will be integrating the students into the garden and the kitchen.
“We want our kids to eat from the garden. Some kids don’t like to eat vegetables, but if we introduce them to good, wholesome organic fruits and vegetables, that can change the whole trajectory of how they eat. We’re trying to make it a revolving door here in the school kitchen,” Mrs. Diaz said.
The monthly box costs $40. Buyers have the option to have a monthly subscription, or they can buy a single box individually. Another option is buying a smaller selection of bread, as a sample of the bread box. This month’s box will contain white sandwich bread, lemon blueberry and citrus scones and raspberry jam, as well as fresh lettuce straight from Bosco’s community garden, available now to order.
For more information, and to sample or begin your monthly subscription, you can go here.