In 1976 Joe and Kass Schwin began a flour mill, grinding organic whole grains, wheat and corn, on a granite stone mill. To demonstrate their quality flour at the New Earth Expo, they baked 200 loaves and distributed the bread to a few local stores to get a reaction. The response exceeded their wildest dreams. They started baking bread and have never looked back.
Joe was an artist and scientist and wanted the challenge of baking the best bread in the world. Kass wanted to feed people nourishing food, so the breads had to be 100% whole grain. Finally, they decided to make the breads kosher and dairy-free to capture the widest possible base of customers. Remember, this was long before organic foods were mainstream and before most modern, urban people considered bread a potential source of good nutrition.
In the early 80's, the Tran family, recently arrived from Vietnam, joined Joe and Kass and quickly learned the Vital Vittles way. They continue to be central to the operation.
Huong Tran, Production Manager, oversees a dozen bakers trained to work exclusively with whole grains. She recently developed a complete line of vegan sweets, cookies, cakes, and muffins‚ based on tofu, rather than eggs and milk. Her distinctive perspective has yielded unusual combinations, such as Mint-Poppy Seed Muffins, Chocolate Blueberry Muffins, and Chocolate Chip Banana Cakes. Our bakers have over 100 years combined baking experience behind them.
Huong and Binh Tran manage purchasing and information systems. Jorge Perez oversees sales and distribution.
We take no shortcuts in the bread-baking process. We use hard red winter wheat, grown in the Southwest, where rich soil and a long growing season produce an unusually deep root system. This gives the wheat an exceptional taste and high vitamin and mineral content.
We grind our own flour, the day before it is used in baking, on our original natural, granite stone mill. This traditional method of milling protects the germ and important outer layer of the grain, which are destroyed by the heat created in conventional steel roller milling. We believe that fresh, properly ground flour is the key to superior bread.
Over the past 10 years, organic foods have become the fastest growing segment of the grocery business. All the grains, nuts, fruits, and oils we use in Vital Vittles breads are certified organic. The oil is expeller-pressed, free of GMOs, and preservatives. It is nitrogen packed to safeguard its purity and is used immediately upon opening.
Only recently has "the world" discovered the great taste and nutritional value of whole grains that motivated Joe and Kass to start Vital Vittles some 30 years ago.
2810 San Pablo Ave.
Berkeley, CA 94702