Blog | Rainbow Co-op Grocery in Jackson, MS

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Meet Your Baker: Ashton Deakin

Posted by Patrick on October 12, 2016

My baking career began when I was 17 years old. While working for a local restaurant as a food runner, my shift began at 6am. One morning I was early for my shift and I decided to watch the bakers. Everything grabbed my attention, I instantly fell in love with bread. I watched as the 3 bakers worked in unison to transform raw dough into pieces of art. I remember the guys take dough and form it into a variety of shapes and sizes. I then glanced over to the oven and witnessed another baker putting the bread on some crazy contraption. He then, with the precision of a surgeon sliced the loaves and loaded them into the oven. Next a green button was pressed and steam made its way through the glass door. On the bottom rack bread that had already been sliced and baked was being unloaded. I was hooked! That morning I saw flour, water, salt, and yeast turn into aromatic artwork.

I asked the lead baker how I could get a job working with them. He laughed and said come in at 5am every morning. He had no clue I would do exactly that. For the next 3 months I came in at least an hour early to learn off the clock. They loved it, I had all the grunt work, they got to relax and most importantly I learned hands on. Everything they did, said or referred to I listened. I made tons of mistakes learning. I came to realize this was part science and part intuition. There was constant change. When baking bread there are variables everywhere, the temperature, humidity, flour, proof times, the list goes on and on. The one thing I was not allowed to do was load the bread into the oven. They let me practice scoring the bread, and feeling it to see if it was ready but the final decision came down to the “real bakers”. One day they were all gone, I noticed if a batch of bread didn’t go in right away it would be over proofed and lost.

Being 17 I decided to take charge, I put the bread on the loader, scored it and got it in the oven. Once I did it the worry set in, was I right, did I cost myself the apprenticeship? Fortunately no, the head baker praised me for taking the initiative. Slowly I began to get paid for doing what I love. It soon turned to full time and the learning really began, over the course of 5 years I devoted myself to bread. A good friend who was also my mentor as a Chef asked if I would like to bake at Rainbow. I came in and was asked to make a batch of bread, a sort of test. I made my Honey Brioche recipe that I had worked on for 3 years. I passed the test and started working. I was surrounded with people who also believed in quality organic ingredients and the idea that if we work together the end result will be great food that our customers deserve.

I’ve been on my bread journey ever since and have been fortunate enough to bake all over the country as well as the world. I recently returned to the states after working overseas for 3 years and changing careers. While visiting my parents in Jackson I kept thinking about baking. I stopped by Rainbow to see if they needed a baker. At the moment they didn’t and I continued to work remotely for my company overseas. One day Steve called and asked if I wanted to bake again, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. I met with Steve and Brian to discuss our options. We agreed to rebuild the bakery. After just one day working with Brian his crew I knew we would do great things. New breads, desserts, muffins, scones, brownies, cinnamon rolls and a variety of other baked goods will hit the shelves. Our goal is to give customers the final word. If a bread, dessert or any other bakery item is not what they want or believe it can be improved that is exactly what we will do. I want people to smell fresh bread as they shop and see a wide variety of quality baked goods they enjoy.

MEMBERSHIPS ARE FREE!

Posted by Patrick on October 10, 2016

free memberships dot jay pee gee

We want everyone to feel welcome at Rainbow Co-op, so we’re making annual memberships FREE FOR EVERYONE. Just register at the front desk and you’ll get access to Member Specials, Staples, Picks and Member Days, including every Sunday! As a thank you to those who’ve invested in paid Memberships, you’ll receive 20% OFF for every punch remaining on your current member card instead of 10%.

The stock in Rainbow is still $75 for a lifetime share. Shareholders are the greatest contributors to our Co-op. Shareholders now receive the 20% Shareholder discount every Friday and Sunday.

SUNDAY: OCTOBER 9th - The Annual Meeting

Posted by Patrick on October 04, 2016

The Rainbow Cooperative Annual Shareholder meeting is right around the corner! We’re having it in the High Noon Cafe this year. It’s always fun, with Mississippi’s best vegetarian potluck, free beer, and fun financial presentations! Yeah, there’s gonna be a slideshow! WITH GRAPHS. Also, you’ll vote for and find out who becomes the new board of directors.

I hope you’re all as excited about graphs as I am, because let me tell you: These are some amazing graphs. There’s bars, there’s numbers, some of the bars are bigger than others, and all the axes are properly labeled and to scale, it’s really just a masterful bit of graphing. Not that pretentious kind that tries to make everything artistic and like a TED talk, either. Workman’s graphs. These numbers go up, these numbers go down. Tax stuff. It’s great. THRILLING.

Plus there’s beer, which always makes graphs even better. There’s drinks that aren’t beer, too. And a potluck. Rainbow provides some stuff, but you should really bring your own, since that’s the point of a potluck.

It’s a vegetarian potluck, so don’t make that mistake. Everyone here might not be a full-time vegetarian, but they’ll be vegetarian on that day. With your help. You can help. You can come look at graphs. Thanks!

The Rainbow Annual Shareholders Meeting will take place at 1:00 PM on Sunday, October 9th. It’s in the High Noon Cafe! Get there on time and you’ll be able to vote for the Board of Directors and hear all the speeches, and eat all the food! If you get there late, you’ll be stuck with me just watching the graphs.

Saturday, October 8th - Potluck Plus Igor Iwanek

Posted by Patrick on October 04, 2016

This week it’s not just a potluck, after the food, we’ll get into something else - Music & Mysticism!
Enjoy a relaxing after-lunch time filled with music, chanting and eastern philosophy of sound. Explore Nada Yoga - the yoga of sound, a practice of tuning in to the omnipresent laws of the vibrating universe. Come together to experience Kirtan, spiritual chanting that encourages deep concentration and find out about Indian Ragas - the artistic embodiment of the yoga of sound path. You may notice better quality sleep and a sense of calm after attending this session. You will open up your ears, participate and learn simple yet elegant, energy restoring practices. The workshop will start right after the potluck and run for approximately 1.5 hrs
Facilitated by Dr. Igor Iwanek, formerly an Affiliated Artist at MIT, a composer and musician well versed in the Hindustani (North Indian) and Western Classical music traditions.