Whole Love: The Grain Loft
When Pat and Jacque Schaaf found themselves baking five or six loaves of bread a week, they needed a lot of flour. Unfortunately, the only readily available flour was the enriched white kind at the grocery store, with “enriched” being a clever code word for chemicals and preservatives. To bake their own bread the right way, the Schaafs needed to mill their own flour from whole grains (and lots of them).
Pat and Jacque quickly discovered that buying grain in the amounts they needed was easier said than done. Their closest resource was Atlanta and they did not have to make that drive too many times before they started seeking alternatives. Necessity is the mother of invention.
The Grain Loft began five years ago as a home business. The Schaafs would order bulk quantities of the grains they needed and deliver the excess to like-minded individuals across the region. Eventually they opened their retail location so grain seekers could come to them directly. It was not long before The Grain Loft grew to be about much more than just grains.
The customers who visited The Grain Loft were also in the market for other bulk items. Beans, like grains, have extremely long shelf lives and are difficult to buy in bulk locally. Further, folks that want healthier fresh bread obviously seek healthier items across their entire diet. Local produce, meats and dairy products eventually became mainstays, too.
Today, The Grain Loft is a purveyor of all things fresh, local and organic. Bulk grains are still the core of the business, and the love of fresh baked bread is what sets The Grain Loft apart from other local markets. Customers can purchase organic grains, yeast, local honey and anything else they need to make fresh, healthy bread that tastes better than anything you can find at the grocery store.
“When we make our bread, we know exactly what five ingredients are in it,” Pat says. There are no preservatives, additives, chemicals or fillers or anything else that does not belong in a loaf of bread.
Customers can enjoy the experience of fresh baked bread with fresh milled flour a number of different ways. Stopping in to buy a loaf is easiest, but the Schaafs are happy to help you with a more hands-on approach. The Grain Loft has electric and manual grain mills for sale, and will also grind up your grains for you in their mills. Add in yeast, local eggs, honey and even filtered water from their Berkey, and bread has never tasted so pure.
The Grain Loft offers regular classes in bread-baking and soap-making to help you get started. Visit their website for class schedules, hours and a full list of everything they have to offer.
The Grain Loft
1987 Highway 101 South, Greer