GRAIN, the local artisan flour miller and farmer-direct dry goods supplier, has just rebranded as ‘Flourist’. Long a favourite of discerning chefs and home bakers, the Vancouver-based company will launch a new storefront, bakery and cafe in East Van this summer.
The rebranding from Grain to Flourist took effect today across their social media platforms, but keen observers may have noticed that it was announced via the window hoarding of their 2,800 sqft brick and mortar space at 3433 Commercial Street on Sunday, just before I met up with company co-founders Janna Bishop and Shira McDermott.
I’ve seen design renderings of what the 50 seat Flourist will eventually look like (included at bottom, care of Ste. Marie Art + Design), but right now the voluminous space echoes with emptiness. Things are nevertheless moving rapidly off-site, and rather literally. The flour mill that they purchased in Austria has just crossed the Atlantic Ocean and is currently inbound to British Columbia on a freight train.
Shira and Janna aim to have Flourist open by late Spring or early Summer with the goal of producing fresh flour (stone-milled on site), tons of bread, plenty of baked goods, good coffee, an “all-day approachable food program and a retail market offering tools and ingredients for home baking and cooking adventures” from 7am to 6pm, seven days a week. They’re also hoping to get a sidewalk patio going at some point, and might even apply for a liquor license down the line. In any event, it’s certainly an exciting development for the neighbourhood (as evidenced by the number of passersby on Sunday who vthrilled at the freshly revealed frontage).
Here’s an excerpt from today’s official announcement…
“We’re so excited to be launching a bricks-and-mortar location to better connect with our community, continue telling the stories of Canadian grain and bean farmers and to showcase our beautiful fresh flours in the best way possible: our very own sourdough bread program,” said Janna Bishop, Flourist co-founder and CEO.
“The new name, Flourist, better represents where our company is going, and reflects the growing interest in an ingredient central to so many people’s lives,” said Bishop.
Established under the GRAIN brand, Flourist has earned a reputation and community following for promoting Canadian farmers, supplying traceable, farm-direct Canadian grains and beans for restaurants and retailers, and operating Vancouver’s first and only artisan flour mill.
“The farmer-direct whole grains, seeds, and beans part of the business will continue to grow and thrive through our online and retail channels and will feature prominently in the menu at the new Flourist location,” says Flourist co-founder Shira McDermott. “We’re really excited to be able show people how we mill our fresh flours and we expect our new Austrian-made stone mill will be a big hit at the bakery.”
In addition to casual food and bakery items inspired by Flourist’s extensive and publicly available recipe collection, Flourist customers will be able to buy all the items currently available on the company’s website, including freshly milled flours.
Bishop and McDermott are joined by an experienced executive team that includes Craig Stanghetta and Rob Leadley.
New Head Baker Alessandra Percival will lead the baking and food program at Flourist. Head Miller Christian Bendsen will oversee milling at the new bakery and will continue managing the company’s existing South Vancouver warehouse and mill.