Matt and Krystle Toman, the owners of MAK Bread and Back Pocket Bakery, met and fell in love in South Korea. But that's a story for another day.
This love story is about sourdough bread and starts about six years ago when they were living in Seattle. The couple, Matt's brother, Phillip, and a few friends started baking loaves of bread, specifically sourdough, as a personal interest at home. Sourdough is often considered the "best," most artisan bread you can make, and Matt loves a challenge, so while working a full-time job, he challenged himself to perfect the loaf.
"It's the kind of bread that uses a certain technique where you really have to connect with what you're doing," says Matt.
Fast forward to 2018. Matt and Krystle moved to Coeur d'Alene, and were introduced to the Kootenai County Farmers Market. They'd already been thinking of taking their love of baking bread to the next step, and the market seemed like a great platform for trying it out. They started with three loaves: their basic Country Blonde sourdough loaf; Wild Sesame, made with a sesame seed used in South Korea; and potato sourdough. It was obvious that excellence and love went into each loaf, and their business grew quickly.
Today, Matt, Krystle, Phillip and Laurel — the MAK Bread team — craft 12 varieties of standard and rotating loaves along with baguettes, ciabattas, bagels, cream cheese mixes, compound butter and artisan sandwiches, with much more coming soon.
At the end of 2021, they launched a Kickstarter for a new bread oven to go into the Back Pocket Bakery, opening soon in downtown Coeur d'Alene. This will allow the bakery to fulfill Krystle's dream of opening a sandwich shop in a community they love, but they'll continue baking for the markets and pursuing the connections that have carried them to this place.
"We couldn't have done this without our people," says Matt. "Those who show up at the market, get our bread subscriptions, the farmers markets, other local businesses we've worked with and learned from, and who've introduced us to other people in the community along the way. We definitely couldn't have done it without them."