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Don Guerra, Barrio Bread
Southwest Tiptree World Bread Awards Hero USA supported by IBIE
Barrio Bread is a true neighborhood bakery that showcases the art and science of Don Guerra's passion for baking and his commitment to community.
Don Guerra taught Physical Education, health and mathematics at a public school in Tucson. In 2009, during his last year of teaching, he had the idea to retrofit his garage into a fully outfitted bakery, inspired by creative bakeries and set-ups he’d seen in Mexico and Europe. He made over a quarter of a million loaves in that garage, just himself and his own hands.
With the launch of Barrio Bread, Don has created a Community-Supported Baking concept that involves education and working to create a strong local food movement in Tucson.
Don is committed to working with local farmers, chefs, and other food producers to strengthen the local grain economy and grow the local food network. In 2015 he was awarded a USDA Local Food Promotion Grant that significantly helped him to increase collaboration with others and expand production with a new bakery. He has taught a variety of baking classes and presented at conferences and workshops, highlighting his business model and work with heritage grains.
In Tucson, Don is a star of the local-grain movement. Lots of craft bakers talk about growing local-grain economies, using grains harvested and milled a relatively short distance from their ovens — the locavore ethos applied to baking. Don Guerra has been doing it for years, working with southern Arizona grain growers, the Indigenous San Xavier Cooperative Farm and other groups.