How would you make use of an annual butter budget of nearly $100,000? If you answer is “ALL THE BAKED GOODS” then South Surrey’s Fieldstone Artisan Breads is your kind of place.
This beloved community-focused spot near Crescent Beach is the labour of love of local couple Paul Hanley and Nicola Erasmus, who opened the bakery in 1998. With the goal of creating a place that truly serves the neighbourhood, Fieldstone has become a very special place for locals and visitors alike over the years.
Hanley and Erasmus founded the bakery on the idea that it be a true community hub, and that everything they produce have integrity. They work closely with local farms to bring in large amounts of produce–like a whole field’s worth of organic blueberries, for example–which allows them to get the foods at their peak, transform them and preserve them for use through the season, and support local farmers.
And each berry from the large harvest is hand-picked by gloved hands; Hanley takes every aspect of the ingredient process seriously, and wants to make sure his new and returning customers taste only the best.
Speaking of big batches, there’s that butter thing. Hanley revealed during a recent meet-up at Fieldstone’s inviting shop that they spend $97,000 per year on butter, which is so much that they had to get a special government permit.
That butter is in part what makes things like their Napoleons and Chocolate Horns so damn good (although the pure cocoa taste of their chocolate cream is pretty much to die for).
“Nothing comes in a bag or a box,” adds Hanley, meaning that they make it all in-house, from scratch, filling the cases and racks with beautiful loaves of fresh artisanal-style breads, cookies the size of your head, delectable sweet goodies, and savoury items like quiche or sausage rolls.
“Our bread is done the way was 300 years ago,” explains Hanley. Using a low-gluten flour and minimal and all-natural ingredients with no filler or interference, and allowing the dough to rest overnight, Fieldstone is able to produce breads that are “good for your gut,” attests Hanley.
Visitors to the bakery will see the open baking area, buzzing with activity. Wooden racks hold large panels of French linen called couches–literally a bread “diaper” for snuggling the dough as it rests. (If you’re in Ladner or White Rock, keep an eye out for their farmers’ market booth, too–a chance to get the goods outside of the bakery itself!)
As familiar faces pop by to say hello and get some baked goods, Hanley greets them by name. The bakery is a stopping off point for so many local families taking part in daily activities, including his own children, and there’s a very neighbourly way the locals care for each other.
“We are a community bakery,” says Hanley.
Address: 12823 Crescent Road, Surrey