Opened in June 2012 by husband and wife team, Sean and Chamain O’Mahoney, Breads on Oak is New Orleans’ first organic bakery and café. Using all organic flours as well as fresh local produce, Sean and Chamain know the importance of using local and organic products. “It’s like everything else; garbage in, garbage out,” Sean said. “If you start with the best, it’s hard to end up with something that doesn't taste great. If you start with great ingredients, you got a pretty good start. We use the best organic flour and ingredients for these types of bread down to the protein content. Those are the things I look at to make sure we're baking true European bread.”
Chamain added, “We pick the blueberries and we grow the lemons, oranges, and herbs we use. Anything we can, we grow it. Even our coffee is locally roasted and our water that we use to bake is filtered.”
“Everything we have is fresh. We get it in and we do it that day. That’s how things were done 100 years ago.”
With his passion about baking, Sean is on a mission “to make New Orleans the greatest bread city in America.” “New Orleans has a rich history of baking and I wanted to bring that back,” Sean explained. “One hundred years ago this was the place for bread; New Orleans was it. We had more French bakers per capita than any other city in the United States.”
“I started baking about twenty years ago at a French bakery with a Parisian guy out in Utah. It was my first job out of the Marine Corps and I loved it. I knew that eventually I was going to have a bakery. It was just a matter of the right timing. I decided to refresh my skills a bit and went to study with Chef Pierre Zimmerman, a fourth generation world champion baker from France. Once I finished, I came back and started looking for a location. I felt that one of the things that was missing in New Orleans was great traditional French breads with long fermentations made by hand and I wanted to bring that back.”
And bring it back he did. With the organic artisan breads, there is no skimping on anything! “All of our breads are made with organic flour. We use wild yeast like in 5000 B.C. by the Egyptians. It takes more skill when working with wild yeast, but there’s more flavor. When you open the bread, you can just smell it. It’s this smooth, a little acidic type smell, like fresh flours. It’ a wonderful smell and that’s what I wanted to bring back. And you can’t forget the deep, chewy crust. That deep crust is the preservative. That’s what protects the inside of the bread and keeps it fresh for a week. I’m trained and certified as a boulanger (baker). So, if you go to France, these are exactly the kinds of breads that you’ll find.”
Breads on Oaks not only offers great bread, but also pastries, sandwiches and soups, and organic muffins and sweets. “Now we have lunch, so it’s kind of like Breads on Oak Bakery and Café,” mused Chamain.
We certainly can’t get enough of the vegan croissants, blueberry lemon muffins, double chocolate pecan brownies (gluten free), and chocolate chip walnut flax cookies!
So when you’re in the mood for something fresh, healthy, local, and just plain good, Breads on Oaks has got you covered. Get your pain au chocolat and a cup of coffee, and sit and enjoy yourself at Breads on Oak.
For more information about Breads on Oak, please visit the website, Facebook, and Twitter.
Breads on Oak
8640 Oak St., Ste. A
New Orleans, LA 70118
Thurs-Sat 8am-3pm, Sun 8am-12pm