Oliver baker shares story of immigration, business success

Secret ingredient is love

“Community Champions” is a media campaign led by the South Okanagan-Similkameen Local Immigration Partnership and supported by Castanet. We share stories that raise awareness about the contribution immigrants make to the community while introducing the small businesses of new Canadians.

Audrey Enixon was born and raised in Poitiers in the west of France. When she met her husband, Jean Marc, both were happy living in the beautiful Bordeaux close to the family estate winery. When Jean Marc’s mother sold the estate, the young couple was open to adventures, so Jean Marc started looking for a job around the globe. And their wish was granted – Jean Marc was invited to work as a wine maker in South Okanagan. 

“No, no, no…we can’t go.  Our son is too young…you are expecting our second child…it’s so far from France…Can we really?” exclaimed Jean Marc. 

But they understood that they needed to take this chance. 

And this is how their Okanagan journey began. 

The Enixon family arrived in Oliver in 2016 with one toddler, one big belly and six suitcases. 

“We decided to settle in Oliver because it is a family town. What is especially great is that it has a growing artisan community. It was a very cold winter when we moved here. My husband worked a lot and I was at home taking care of our baby girl. Since we moved I was craving good bread. I used to make bread at home in France”, Audrey said. 

“Once I was watching a cooking show called “Cooked” where they were talking about creating your own sourdough starter. As a microbiologist (that was my first diploma) I was fascinated by the process and decided to try it myself. And this is how “Jojo”, my sourdough bread starter, was born. I named it after my grandfather," Audrey said with an affectionate smile.

At first, Audrey was baking bread for her family. One day her friend was over for dinner and kept complementing Audrey’s bread and finally convinced her to start baking for other people as well. Audrey used to supervise three school cafeterias in France, so she was very familiar with the food industry. 

‘Thanks to SOICS [South Okanagan Immigrant and Community Services] I got my food safe certificate. I researched a lot about baking at home on the Interior Health website and found out that with certain restrictions it was absolutely possible," Audrey said.

Audrey started baking small batches of bread and selling them at the Osoyoos farmers’ market. After four years of being a vendor, she has become a part of the board of the market. When the market is closed and all year round Audrey’s Road 9 home based micro bakery offers monthly subscriptions for sourdough bread and individual orders for free delivery in Oliver or pick up.

Besides various naturally leavened breads (loaves, batard, French baguettes, focaccia, buns, etc.), Audrey makes old-fashioned almond macaroons (inspired by her grandma’s recipe). She even makes her own flour from the organic grains, and hopes to make her baking 100 per cent organic in the future. When COVID-19 pushed a lot of community members into isolation, Audrey shared Jojo and sourdough bread recipes, and offered advice on baking. 

“My goal is to make local, earthy, high quality bread. I put my heart into it. I give my love through my bread and get it back from the community," Audrey said. 

Road 9 - Audrey’s Breads was voted #1 in Best Bakeries of South Okanagan 2020.

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