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Tue, Oct. 22

Business spotlight: Flour Stone Bakery and Café

Igal Blumstein opened his own bakery in Mayer last September after a lifetime of managing other people’s bakeries.

Igal Blumstein opened his own bakery in Mayer last September after a lifetime of managing other people’s bakeries.

MAYER — Every morning, six days a week, Igal Blumstein walks into his business at about 4 a.m. and starts baking strudel.

From there, he makes apple and blackberry dumplings, cheese and bear claw Danishes, blueberry and strawberry cream cheese muffins, and anything else he needs to service his breakfast crowd.

Now 58, he started baking in 1971 with his father and brothers — who were also bakers —when he was just 14.

More recently, he was a baker and manager for Safeway bakeries in the quad-city area for 17 years.

Eight months ago, he retired from working for other people and soon after went into business for himself.

Along with his wife and two young-adult boys, he opened Flour Stone Bakery and Café on Sept. 25 at 12780 E. Central Ave., Mayer.

“I always thought, when I become retirement age, I didn’t want to just stop and not do anything anymore,” Blumstein said. “I always wanted to have a small bakery to stay active.”

“It’s something that he’s talked about for years,” said his wife, Kim.

It’s a full-line bakery that specializes in freshness.

Along with his pastries, Blumstein offers a variety of freshly baked breads made without the use of preservatives.

“That’s what drives a lot of people here,” Blumstein said.

Without the preservatives, the bread only lasts a few days out in the open, he said. If refrigerated, it will go about a week before turning.

“It’s a lot better for you and tastes a lot more like bread,” he said.

Blumstein has one customer who comes in regularly because his wife has cancer.

“The doctor told him that any of the preservatives in supermarket breads will kick the cancer into working overtime,” he said.

It takes about two hours just to ferment the bread before it is ready to be baked, but Blumstein said the process is worth it. He sells the bread by the loaf and uses it on sandwiches sold at lunchtime.

“You can have the best lunchmeat in the world, but if the bread is crap, that’s basically what you taste,” he said.

On Fridays, he cooks Challah bread, a Jewish braided bread typically eaten on Sabbath and Jewish holidays.

“It’s a six-braid challah, which a lot of bakers don’t know how to do,” Blumstein said. “It’s made with honey (not sugar), eggs and oil.”

The building he works out of is called the Big Bug Station. It was built in 1904 and used to be a stagecoach stop between Prescott and Phoenix.

The bakery is open 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday and is closed on Sundays.

To view the menu, photos of the baked goods, or more information, go to Flour Stone Bakery and Café’s Facebook page. The bakery can be reached directly at 928-277-8197.

Follow Max Efrein on Twitter @mefrein. Reach him at 928-445-3333, ext. 1105, or 928-642-7864.

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