Where Your Food Comes From: Prairie Mill Bread Co.

Can you pass the bread please?

There is nothing better than the smell of fresh bread baking in the oven.  Okay I take that back – what tops the tantalizing aroma is eating warm bread fresh out of the oven!  Some of my favourite childhood memories are walking across the park after school towards home and salivating in anticipation for one of my mom’s homemade buns with butter and jam. Mmmmm, they were the best!  We always loved when mom had a day off!

As much as I do love making my own buns, there are times when I simply don’t get around to doing it.  I think I am very fortunate because I live 3 blocks away from the second best thing to making bread myself – Prairie Mill Bread Co!!

Owen Petersen and John Juurlink opened the second Prairie Mill Bread Co. in Alberta on December 10, 2008 in Edmonton.  As a teenager, Owen lived in Calgary and got a job at the Prairie Mill Bread Co. that John and his wife, Karen, owned and operated.  Owen discovered he had a passion for making bread, and years later had the vision of making a career out of it here in Edmonton.

Owen, Owner of Prairie Mill Bread Co. in Edmonton

What makes Prairie Mill Bread Co. unique is that it is both a mill and a bakery! Each day, Owen grinds his wheat to make fresh flour to bake his products. How many towns and cities can boast about having a flourmill within their own community?  Believe me, it’s pretty rare!

I have gotten to know Owen over the past 6 years and each time I speak to him, his passion for making bread is evident.  His creations include standard breads such as whole wheat, white, nine grain, spelt, flax, etc.  He also makes some specialty items such as banana bread, cinnamon buns, dinner rolls, jalapeno cheddar bread, cinnamon raisin bread, white chocolate cranberry bread, apple crunch, and cookies. He recently added pizza dough to the list, which you can buy frozen to make your own homemade pizza.  Owen also sells his whole wheat flour so you can make your own creations at home!

The wheat Owen buys for his bakery comes from a few different farms.  Owen uses three different flours to produce his products: organic wheat, organic spelt and conventional unbleached white flour.  The whole wheat comes from Schmidt Farms in Maple Creek, Saskatchewan and is certified organic.  Owen prefers to buy his organic wheat from this farm as they clean and bag the grain which saves him one step.  The organic spelt also comes from Saskatchewan and the non-organic white flour comes from Lethbridge.  The white flour is the only flour Owen does not grind at the bakery.

Approximately half of Owen’s business is providing bread to stores throughout Edmonton.  Owen also participates in several Farmers Markets including the one downtown, Terwillegar and Salisbury greenhouse year round.  On average, Owen and his team produce 350 loaves of bread each day and has them ready for purchase bright and early 5 days a week – Tuesday to Saturday from 6am-6pm.

Even though a loaf of Owen’s bread looks like a traditional loaf of bread you can purchase in a grocery store – that is where the similarity ends.  A few years ago I was doing a TV interview where I weighed a slice of his bread on a kitchen scale.  One slice of Prairie Mill’s traditional whole wheat bread weighs approximately 50g and has approximately 30g of carbohydrates.  A traditional slice of whole wheat bread from the grocery store weighs about 25-30g and has 15-20g of carbohydrates.  When I explain this to my clients, some people see this as negative, but I disagree.  Dense bread will naturally decrease our consumption because it fills us up so we don’t reach for more, compared to a light fluffy bread.  When I make a sandwich with bread from Prairie Mill, it is either an open face or half sandwich.  As a result, I do not have to buy as much bread because we go through it at a slower pace. Bonus!!

Owen’s products are truly comparable to homemade, as he doesn’t use any additives or preservatives. This also means the shelf life of his products are shorter.  However, an easy way to get around this is to divide up your loaf of bread and freeze the extra.

I am well aware of the criticism wheat has been under for the past few years (which honestly is a whole blog in and of itself), but we must remember that wheat isn’t bad for everyone. As with any food we recommend, the more unprocessed and pure it is, the better it is for our health!

Next time you’re looking for high quality bread products, make sure to visit Prairie Mill Bread Co!

Prairie Mill Bread Co.

14253 23 Ave Northwest
Edmonton AB
(780) 436-0920

129-4820 Northland Drive Northwest
Calgary, AB T2L 2L4
(403) 282-6455


November 26, 2014