Local Bakery Helps Foster Feeling of Community

By Alex Wagner
BU News Service 

ROSLINDALE — Roslindale’s Fornax Bread Co. is no bigger than your average coffee shop. It’s got vintage decorative plates randomly hanging above a few antique tables and chairs, mismatched and visibly worn. Menu items are scrawled on a chalkboard on the opposite wall. Then there is the bread, packed on shelves right behind the counter and coming in all shapes, sizes, and textures.

The bakery does a good job in mimicking the feel and style of a typical “mom-and-pop” establishment. In this case, however, the cliché is an accurate description, as it really is owned and run by a husband-and-wife team whose aim is to make their bakery an integral part of the community.

The business, which started in 1997, takes its name from the Roman goddess of the ovens and artisan bread bakers. Chris Fallon, one half of the husband-and-wife team and a former chef, decided he wanted to branch out into baking after participating in the in-house bread program at a restaurant he managed in Denver.

“I was really just enamored by the whole thing, it was a void in my culinary repertoire,” said Fallon. “The more I learned, the more I liked it.”

Since opening the bakery, Fallon says, he and his wife have tried to provide a local, community-focused business for Roslindale residents. In addition to all of the staff being from the Roslindale area, Fornax is a member of Roslindale Village, the local business association, participates in the Roslindale Farmer’s Market each Saturday, and frequently supplies bread for local events, particularly school-sponsored fundraisers and drives.

“We’ve been constantly trying to give back to the community and take care of our employees. That’s the name of the game,” Fallon said.

Within the larger Boston community, Fornax has several retail partners, including City Feed & Supply, Harvest Co-op Market, and American Provisions. Their breads are also served at several fine-dining restaurants around Boston, including Mamma Maria in the North End, Redd’s in Rozzie in Roslindale, Ula Café in Jamaica Plain, Rox Diner in Newton and West Roxbury, and Ashmont Grill in Dorchester.

Fallon’s wife, Kim, is in charge of making pastries and decorating, while Fallon bakes the bread. All of the loaves are baked daily and come in a variety of flavors, including walnut raisin, pumpernickel, challah bread, and the crowd-pleaser, sourdough boule. The price for a single loaf varies between $3-$6, with the whiter breads being on the cheaper side and the multigrain boules being the most expensive.

In 2004, the duo began to offer soups, salads, and sandwiches for breakfast and lunch.  These range from the classic tuna melt to the “Fruity Breakfast Sandwich”, with banana, almonds, and Nutella on boule with sliced apples. Fallon’s personal favorite is salami and onion. “Yummy,” he says.

Fallon acknowledges there are still difficulties ahead for the 15-year-old business. “You’re only as good as your last bake or shift to your customers and vendors,” he said. “You just have to be on every day.”

Although Fallon admits this is the most difficult part of running a bakery, he takes a special pride in his work. “It’s just a good feeling to get that bread in the oven,” he said.

Fornax Bread Company is located on 27 Corinth St. in Roslindale and is open every day of the week, Mon-Fri, 7am-7pm, and Sat-Sun, 8am-6pm.

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