bread loaf

Saint Paul Bread Club

We knead to bake!

Questions about SPBC Meetings

In some respects, the core of the SPBC is in its meetings. This is where most SPBC members meet with each other.

When does the SPBC meet?

All current year meetings should be listed on the main site’s Meetings and Events page.

Originally, the SPBC met quarterly.

In 2003, we met quarterly in the community room of the Mississippi Market Natural Foods Co-op at Selby and Dale in Saint Paul.

Starting in 2004, we met quarterly at Saint Agnes Baking Company

In 2005, we started having monthly meetings, first in the Highland neighborhood. In 2006 we had monthly in Highland, Eden Prairie, Brooklyn Park, and downtown Saint Paul.

As people have come and gone, we have moved meetings, added meetings, and discontinued meetings. Meetings were started and later discontinued including Brooklyn Park and Stillwater.

Since 2010, we are now down to monthly meetings in Merriam Park (instead of Highland), Eden Prairie, St. Louis Park, and in Saint Paul near the State Fair grounds.

We could add other monthly meetings if people would volunteer to find a place to hold them and act as conveners.

I would like there to be a monthly meeting near every concentration of members. That’s why we try to collect at least people’s ZIP codes so we know approximately where people are.

Quarterly Meetings.

When are the Quarterly Meetings?

The SPBC meets approximately quarterly. We try for the months January, April, July, and October. If the desired dates are not available, we might meet earlier or later. Because of the busy schedule of Klecko, our founder, the meeting schedule is not always regular or known fully at the beginning of a year. (In 2011, we plan 5 meetings at St. Agnes, partly because the last meeting of 2010 was canceled because of a snow storm.)

What time are the Quarterly Meetings?

We used to meet at 3 p.m., and then at noon, and now we meet from 10:30 a.m. until 1 p.m.

Where are the Quarterly Meetings?

We meet at the St. Agnes Baking Company, where we can actually make and bake bread. St. Agnes is at 644 Olive Street, in Saint Paul, just east of the Pennsylvania exit from I-35E, between Pennsylvania and University.

What do you do at Quarterly Meetings?

Traditionally, April meetings have been when we have our annual bake-off, but that has and will vary from year to year. In 2011, the bake-off will be in June.

The other months vary quite a bit; we might do some hands-on work, have a community oven (where people bring their own doughs to bake in the ovens at St. Agnes), there might be a theme (bread and soup, rye bread and cheese), or there might be stations where there are different people demonstrating different techniques for breadmaking.

There will almost always be breads to sample and lots of conversations about bread.

How many people show up at Quarterly Meetings?

We have had as few as 25 and as many as 100. Usually it depends on the time of year. You can expect between 30 and 60.

Monthly Meetings

The SPBC also meets monthly in (as of April, 2011) four different places around the Twin Cities. (These group meetings are called slices. There are no “hands on” activities, but people are encouraged to bring samples of what they have been baking lately.)

  • Java Train Slice
  • Bean Good Slice
  • Eden Prairie Slice
  • Trotter’s Slice

What do you do at Monthly Meetings?

Monthly meetings are an opportunity to chat with other SPBC members, show off what you have been baking lately, and talk over bread related news, bread cookbooks, bread tourism, or any other topic of mutual interest.

Different people show up at different monthly meetings, although some meetings have their own “regulars.”

You don’t have to tell anybody you are coming; you don’t have to bring samples, but they are always welcome.

Java Train Slice

We meet at the Java Train Cafe, 1341 Pascal Street, Saint Paul. The meetings are usually held in the Canadian Pacific Conference Room in the basement. Meetings are usually on the first Tuesday of the month, starting at 7 p.m. and usually finishing at 8:30 p.m.

Trotter’s Slice

We meet at the Trotter’s Cafe and Bakery located at 232 N. Cleveland Avenue, near the corner of Cleveland and Marshall in Merriam Park, Saint Paul.

Meetings are usually on the fourth Monday of the month, starting at 6:30 p.m. and usually finishing at 8 p.m.

Eden Prairie Slice

We meet at the food court in the upper level of Eden Prairie Center 8251 Flying Cloud Drive, Eden Prairie.

Meetings are usually on the second Monday of the month, starting at noon and usually finishing by 1 p.m.

How are meetings publicized?

The SPBC has gotten big enough that most meetings a publicized via e-mail to members. They are also posted in the club’s on-line forum and the calendar page and on the club’s Facebook page.

We are not against putting up flyers and putting notices in the newspaper, and posting to internet news groups about meetings, but it doesn’t seem necessary any more. (We don’t have a publicist volunteer right now.) We are not believers in growth for the sake of growth.