Hi, I’m Phoebe, founder of Other Foods.
Every Wednesday, my mom would grind grains into flour by hand and bake bread in the wood-burning stove, a highlight of the week. As it does for many people, bread holds a special place in my heart, representing nourishment, comfort, family, warmth.
In 1998, I opened a café in the Italian section of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York. Williamsburg was drawing lots of the young people who were pouring into the city, and Phoebe’s Café was one of the first places catering to the newly changing demographic. I thought I was opening a coffee shop, but our customers were hungry for a restaurant, so I got busy making soup and granola and hummus from scratch. Back then, it was difficult to get baked goods delivered to our neighborhood, so I taught myself to bake using the classic Joy of Cooking.
After the birth of my second child and a bout with too many antibiotics, my health was waning. I still wanted the bread, but it was clear that I had to remove all that monoculturally-grown wheat from my diet. Taking out the gluten was a start, but it was when I removed all grains from my diet that I felt my vitality return. Maintaining a restricted diet is hard, so I experimented endlessly, baking with every alternative flour I came across, trying to recreate the flavor and texture that make baked stuff so yummy. When, deep into my journey, I discovered cassava flour, I was impressed with its characteristics and inspired to create this baking mix line around it.