This week is the 1 year anniversary of my friend Hillary (of cookie science-ing fame) talking me into starting this blog. To help us (that’s me and you) celebrate, King Arthur Flour is going to give one of you a copy of their Original King Arthur Flour Cookbook, which I love and have shared several recipes from. (Keep reading all the way down for giveaway details.)
At the start of the month my mother and I went to Vermont to King Arthur’s shop in Vermont. I’d been emailing with one of their employees, Allison, about arranging this giveaway, and she met us to take us on a tour.
We started off at the store, which had been significantly expanded since I was there last year. You can now see right into the baking areas, which is pretty cool.
The new space has the full rainbow of sugar, every possible extract and flavoring, an impressive variety of chocolate chips and chunks, and then every weird cooking nick-nack you could ever want, up to and including a stamp to put lines on a kaiser roll.
We bought some pans, some chocolate, some cheese powder I’m super excited about, and a few other odds and ends, and were done with the store (for then).
A mile down the road, we went to their Bakers’ Catalogue Fulfillment Center, where the non-shop stuff happens.
Our first stop there was the test kitchen! They use all tools that people probably have at home, they just have lots of them, much better organized than in most homes. Most importantly, we got a sample of something they had been testing the day before, chocolate graham cracker ice cream sandwiches with Biscoff ice cream.
Then we were down the hall to their contact center, where they have master bakers you can call or email if you’re having trouble with a recipe or something came out wrong and you want some tips to make it better next time. They also answer calls about questions or problems with products. They’ve got one of everything that they sell on their wall so that if you call about a specific product, they can be looking at the same thing when they answer your questions about it. Good planning!
We went down to the shipping area, where all the online and catalogue orders are picked, packed, and shipped. They’re apparently pretty environmentally friendly, and recycle a lot of their shipping materials, which made my mom happy. Behind that was the area where their (tons of) mixes are put together and packed.
After that we talked a bit about what it means to be an employee owned company (which KAF is), and then the tour was done, but mom and I weren’t. We went back to the store and grabbed a few extra things, then stopped at their cafe and got a bunch more things. They have the best Napoleons, good breads (if you don’t want to make your own) and a bunch of other tasty stuff, so… if you’re ever near Vermont, head on over!
And that was it! I’d already liked King Arthur’s products, they seem to actually care about the environment (the renovation/addition to their store had that in mind), and they were nice to my mom and I, so I’m happy to recommend their products! Their website as well! The recipe section has tons of good ideas, and their blog shows how to make them with at least as many pictures as I ever take.
Alright! If you’ve made it this far, you deserve a chance at the giveaway! Just leave a comment with one kind of baked good you’d like to bake if you win the book, and make sure that either you leave your email address in the comment or are signed in to WordPress or some other account so I can contact you! Comment by next Sunday (May 20th) so I can announce the winner next Monday! Come back this Wednesday and the recipes will be back, including the best thing I’ve made yet from the King Arthur Flour website.