Whether you're around the corner or across the country, Knead Bakehouse & Provisions has you covered.
Fans of Knead Bakehouse & Provisions (3467 Hampton Avenue, 314-376-4361)
far, wide, and even just around the corner have reason the celebrate: The beloved bakery is now offering nationwide bread shipping, bringing joy directly to the tables of its sourdough fans, no matter how far away they may be.
As Kirsten Brown, who co-owns Knead with her husband AJ, explains, shipping is something the bakery has been thinking about offering for a while, but it took the pandemic to give them the push they needed to take the leap.
"We have a lot of customers who've asked us if we could ship, or who would comment about shipping on Instagram," Brown says. "One has a mom who is gluten-free, but she can eat our bread, and he'd always say, 'Man, if only I could ship this to my parents, that would be awesome.' We also had customers who were extremely loyal when they were in St. Louis, but they moved away. We started asking ourselves if we could integrate it into the online ordering because we were selling everything that way anyway. Finally, we were able to say yes to people rather than telling them, 'Oh, that's a great idea. Let us get back to you on it.'"
The Browns launched shipping earlier this month after testing out packaging and nailing down their bread's shelf life. According to Kirsten, the bread will remain fresh on the counter for four-to-five days, allowing them to get an optimal product to customers no matter where they live in the continental U.S. The cost of the shipping package is $25 plus shipping, and includes three loaves of bread.
But it's not just out-of-towners who are benefiting from Knead's ability to ship. According to Kirsten, the service is just as useful for people who either live across town and do not want to make the trek to the bakery's Hampton storefront or those who might not be able to make it to the shop during business hours. She urges people to think of it like a milk delivery service.
"We started out at the Lake St. Louis farmers market, so when we got our brick and mortar on South Hampton, it wasn't necessarily in the neighborhood for them anymore," says Brown. "Now, we have a lot of people from St. Charles County ordering bread. They're paying for ground shipping, but they are getting it next-day."
Bread shipping is just the latest way the Browns, like so many restaurateurs, have gotten creative during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has upended business as they knew it. Between pizza kits, gourmet baskets, individually portioned catering and now shipping their fresh sourdough to customers around the country, Brown is optimistic that Knead will be able to weather the storm — and even grow from it.
"This is really pushing business owners to think about why we aren't doing something and making room for new things," Kirsten says. "Some people are doing everything they can; we're just go grateful we are able to stay open. It hasn't been easy, and it's not glamorous, but we just have to figure out new ways of doing business and just dive in. We're going to stay as long as Knead can be Knead."
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