Lauren Hambleton of Red Hen Artisanale has created a new space for aspiring bakers and enthusiasts to learn new skills and feed off her passion for grains.
Baking in Grey County
“When I started doing workshops, I didn’t even realize we don’t grow Granny Smith Apples [in Gray County],” says Lauren Hambleton of Red Hen Artisanale as she lists and waxes poetic about the many amazing things grown right where she lives.
For Lauren, her journey into creating her own location and business around beautiful baked goods has brought her closer to her neighbours and the food they grow.
Visit Red Hen
Red Hen Artisanale is located in Grey County’s Priceville where baker Lauren Hambleton crafts beautiful bread, pasta and other baked goods and most importantly to her, teaches others to do the same.
Groups or singles can sign up for Lauren’s baking workshops and food experiences that focus on bringing people to her studio to make everything from sourdough bagels and loaves of bread to fresh-made pasta and pies. This new location not only allows Lauren the space she needs to teach without having to travel to different locations all the time but also fulfills a dream she’s had for several years.
How It Began
“I had been teaching baking workshops in different cute little spots for about six years and always had to take everything with me. I started this because of a baker in North Carolina.”
Turns out Lauren was talking about Tara Jensen who taught guests to make drool-worthy bread and pies in a stone oven in the mountains of North Carolina at Smoke Signals Bakery. At the time, Lauren was the pastry chef for Peller Estates Winery and was teaching her own workshops too. Lauren sent an email to see if she could help or at least come see what Tara was doing.
Lauren heard back pretty quickly and was invited down for two weeks in September to stay in the apartment above Tara’s bakery and help with the workshops. Leaving Peller, Lauren packed up her car and headed right down. Safe to say, she was completely inspired by the experience and upon her return immediately began squirrelling away her money and writing workshops for her own space one day.
Get in on the Fun
Want to get in on the fun? Oh, we assure you that you do! This winter, Lauren has a load of classes coming up in everything from croissants and Danish workshops to decorative pie workshops and even a sausage roll workshop where you’ll learn puff pastry from Lauren and pork butchery from one of her awesome local partners.
“[Our workshops] have a really super positive energy. At the end of the day, I’m exhausted but I want to cry because it was such a good feeling,” says Hambleton.
After the workshop, you’ll not only leave with your baked goods and some new baking skills but also some recommendations on where to get other great, local ingredients from Lauren. This process has allowed her to get to know her neighbours and she’s eager for visitors to do the same.
The Impact of Local and Moving Forward
At the end of the day, A Red Hen Artisanale workshop is much more than just a workshop. It’s a labour of love that helps Lauren support the amazing food producers and businesses in her region. As she says herself, “Support the people around you and good things should come out of it.”