Meet your Ibis Bakers: Rodrigo
We want to introduce you to some of the people that makes our cafés possible, like Rodrigo Barrios, Supervisor at Ibis Bakery or as he likes to call himself, “champion of bread.”
Ibis crafts the artisan baked goods enjoyed across our café locations. You can see the Ibis team hard at work at Messenger Grand and in Black Dog Coffeehouse.
How long have you been baking for?
“I started at a small café in Waldo where I baked cookies and muffins around 2015. That taught me some of the very basics of baking. It wasn’t until I started at Ibis in February 2021 that I really got to learn a lot of the technical skills and nuances of bread making.”
Is there someone in your life that introduced you to baking?
“My mom baked our birthday cakes growing up. They were so delicious and magical. >I rarely baked anything other than box cake mixes at home until I started working at Ibis. But the most influential person to me baking is Will Berndt. He was the head baker at Ibis when I started and the person who taught me the most about how to bake the bread properly. Will was leaving to start Marion Milling and I was hired to fill the gap. I still see Will coming and going when he delivers the flour we use and he’ll always be credited for introducing me to a passion I never knew I had.”
What sets Ibis Bakery apart from other bakeries?
“I really love the fact that we use fresh locally-milled flour from Marion Milling. The wheat grain is stone ground and processed all in the West Bottoms and delivered to us by the person who is milling the flour. It’s such a great flavor and texture, and that is something you sacrifice when you buy commercial bread and pastries in your local supermarket. It’s as close to farm to table as you can get. The ingredients list for the country sourdough is flour, water, and salt. I love that. It’s what bread is supposed to be.”
What’s your go-to bakery item?
“My favorite go to item to bake are Macarons. They look so fancy and there are so many iterations that you can do. Different colors, flavors, fillings—the possibilities are so numerous. Plus it’s gluten free because you’re using almond flour, and everyone is always so impressed. They take some time to make, but if you follow the steps and are careful with your technique, they come out fabulous.”
What’s your advice for those wanting to start baking?
“Just start! It can be intimidating, but don’t let that hold you back. I’ve made so many mistakes and the most important thing I learned is that your mistakes are what teach you the most. Don’t be afraid to make bad bread, or bad croissants, or bad anything. Take notes and adjust one thing at a time until you identify the problem. I never knew I could bake until I tried. And after failing time after time, one time it clicked. That’s all it takes. Just do it.”
Ibis Bakery has been creating artisan bread and pastries since 2014. Learn more about the story of Ibis at ibisbakery.com
Marion Milling was founded by baker and miller Will Berndt. We are honored to be part of fulfilling the dream of a team member in starting his own milling business. Marion Milling can be found online at marionmilling.com.