were all the rave, so the brand decided
to play off that trend. "We knew it was
a really popular flavor, but we wanted to
do it differently," Letchinger said. "So we
put 3. 5 tablespoons of organic honey into
each loaf." Since then, DKB has introduced approximately six new varieties a
From ideation to building a market-
ing and sales business case to deciding
where to source the ingredients from,
rolling out a new product is no easy task.
"Of course there are hiccups along the
way, as there are in any organization,”
Letchinger said. “We're pretty scrappy
around here — you have to be when you
grow this much.”
While the plant is highly automated, all
the dough is hand-woven for perfection.
Each ball is then manually rolled, dipped
and sewed in with the various seeds and
grains. Many of the organic ingredients
make it tough to run through the auto-
mated equipment, so Dave's Killer Bread
has found a happy marriage of people and
machinery. "We couldn't do it without the
people," Letchinger said. "Symbolically, but
also literally from a formulation standpoint,
we need that."
Every three hours or so, the production
cycle changes to include a different product — meaning a new variety of wheat.
With each wheat change, the protein levels
fluctuate, keeping the mixers hard at work.
Without the luxury of added chemicals to
help the dough run through the machines,
the DKB team is constantly performing mix
tests. "There's a very tactile way of making
this bread. There's a lot of feel involved.
Our mixers always have to be on top of
their game because the margin for errors
is very small with these seeded breads,"
Dave’s Killer Bread is currently the number one organic bread brand in the U.S.
and the number 20 bread brand overall.
The breads can be found in thousands
of retailers nationwide, and the company
announced its expansion into all 50 states
in May. DKB products can now be found at
Kroger, Safeway, Costco, Sam’s Club, Whole
Foods, Fred Meyer and other independent
and natural retailers.
Riding the Grain Train
It is said that a whole is only as good as
its sum of parts. That statement rings true
for Dave’s Killer Bread, who strategically
sources its ingredients from all around the
world. Finding a wheat that is able to withstand the rigors of a production environment, but also able to coexist with various
grains and seeds as inclusions can be a
challenge. “That’s why you don’t see a lot
of seeded breads on the market, because
it’s hard to do,” Letchinger said. “You can’t
just open up the yellow pages and be like,
‘I need 300,000 pounds of organic wheat.’”
DKB found its answer, though, in high-protein wheat. The company sources its
wheat supply primarily from organic farmers in Montana and Canada. The decision
to work hand in hand with farmers and
millers from those locations was due to the
wheat’s high-protein levels. Dave’s Killer
Bread recognizes that there is a finite supply of organic wheat, so it teams with the