HomePodcastJosh Allen: The Business of Bread

Josh Allen: The Business of Bread

Josh Allen is the Founder of Companion Baking. Born and raised in St. Louis, MO, Allen was immersed in the food and baking industry from an early age. His great-grandfather founded Allen Foods, a well-known broadline food distributor with a large customer base across the Midwest. Allen spent much of his childhood delivering groceries to various foodservice operations, cleaning the freezers and sweeping the trucks for his family’s business.

Today, Companion’s award-winning bread is served in more than 400 restaurants, grocery stores, and businesses around the Midwest and across the country. Allen credits his success to listening and nimbly adapting to his customers’ wants and needs. In addition to their baking operations, Companion has two cafes in the St. Louis area and has expanded to offer a small line of pastries.

Josh looks forward to continuing develop curated bread programs for regional and national multi-unit operators by helping them tell their story through bread. Outside Companion, Josh enjoys cycling, running and spending time with his five kids.

In this episode we discuss:

  • What inspired Josh to become involved in artisan bread baking
  • How he started his first wholesale business, Companion Baking, at the age of 24
  • Josh’s emphasis on “listening to his customers”
  • How he cultivated the customized bread programs at Companion Baking
  • Companion Baking’s initiative to reduce waste across the board
  • How Companion Baking has dealt with labor shortages, supply chain issues and inflation
  • Josh’s top tip for measuring fermentation
  • And much more!

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