Fol Epi Bakery
Victoria BC is really growing into a foodie mecca and Cliff Leir’s beautiful breads are leading the charge! I had to feature this beautiful bakery as it satisfies both my design and food desires. Cliff has set up shop at Dockside Green complete with a hand built wheat grinder and a brick oven that sits half inside and half outside. The name Fol Epi mans “wild wheat stalk”. Fol Epi breads are probably the closest I’ve tasted to the French and European breads I’ve had. The shop is designed beautifully with reclaimed wood, slate for serving platters, iron and brick. The breads are made in a traditional manner with starters and ferments. Then they’re hand shaped with care and attention.
I was lucky enough to spend about an hour or so hanging out, taking pictures, laughing and trying a sip of some amazing apple eau de vie that Cliff made at home. What I learned is that Cliff doesn’t take himself seriously. When I asked him why bread he said that an Old Russian guy convinced him to build a brick oven in his driveway and well…the rest is history. Does he love what he does…his answer is like anyone who is working their passion, “sometimes yes, sometimes no”. “I don’t always love getting up at 3 in the morning and I sometimes don’t love having rain pelting me as I ride to work. But then sometimes the feel of the rain on my face is soothing and amazing”
I hope that the pictures above shine some light onto a beautiful craft and convince you to go and try some of Cliff’s breads. If that isn’t enough then maybe heading next door to dip your all butter croissant in a Caffe Fantastico cappuccino will convince you. Here are the directions.