I recently had the joy and honor to spend a couple days with Tara Jensen of Smoke Signals Bakery, a small, wood-fired bakery tucked away in quiet Marshall, North Carolina. While Tara has a weekly practice of bakes, her primary focus is now centered on creating and fostering community through workshops, monthly gatherings, and customized mentorship experiences. In her own words, Tara's approach to both personal and professional life follows this approach: "Don't let fear get in the way of your dreams." While witnessing and participating in her process of baking forty gorgeous loaves of bread and four artful apple pies, a mindful meditation steeped in intention and respect for ingredients, community, and process, I gained a new understanding of how food connects and nourishes. From the mixing of ingredients and rolling out dough to the constant tending to the fire and the final, glorious bake, each beautiful moment in my visit was a reminder of the power of practice and the commitment to a purpose.
Bon Appetit magazine refers to Tara as "one of the best bakers in America" and recently featured her in a lengthy profile here.
Find out more about Tara and Smoke Signals Bakery here. Her increasingly popular workshops and monthly pizza gatherings are certainly worth checking out. And hop on over to her always inspiring (and incredibly popular) Instagram feed here.