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A Sweet Spring: UW Stout students head into semester delivering more loaves


By Kyra Price and Maria Winkelman, Harvey Hall News Service


While Stout Bread started last year all because a college student wanted some Banana Bread for himself, he and his team are now producing bread every week for students at UW-Stout.

 

This semester Stout Bread is bringing something new to the business. For Valentine's Day they will be making chocolate covered strawberries. When posting a video on Instagram, promoting the strawberries, they had already received 72 orders in 9 hours. They also now have merch, including baseball caps, beanies, and crewnecks.

 

Walter Wheat, whose nickname is inspired by the popular show Breaking Bad, started Stout Bread in Fall of 2022. Last year from September through January, he was producing about 40 full-size loaves per month. He said that in February of 2023 they sold 47 full-size loaves and 350 mini loaves. This past semester they baked roughly 1,200 mini loaves. Since starting his business, in the past three semesters Stout Bread has sold in total 4,240 loaves.

 

His team consists of him and his two friends that are nicknamed, Jessie Wheatman, and Skinny Wheat. Wheat says they work together as a team, “None of us really have individual strong suits, we just all work together.”

 

Since growing, this past December Stout Bread sold bread at the Winter Market hosted by Brewery Nonic, here in Menomonie. While most of the bread made is for students, Wheat said that faculty will message them for orders every so often. One of their favorite parts of the job is when parents will message them on their Instagram page and order bread for their kids online as a surprise for them. Wheat says if businesses in town would be interested in placing orders he would love it, but they have yet to pursue it.

 

While Stout Bread is still a hobby and Wheat describes it as, “just cooking bread”, his business has taught him skills that he can apply to his future career in mechanical and manufacturing engineering. He said that it has helped him show how to lead a team. Wheat also said that his social skills have improved when it comes to communicating with customers, both in person and online. According to Wheat there is also behind the scenes work that has shown him a lot.

 

Wheat balances Stout Bread and his schoolwork by having the team cook every Tuesday and Friday. Tuesday is a smaller batch and Friday is the big production day. They bake from roughly 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., and then after that they go out and deliver and sell bread.

 

Anyone interested in placing orders with Stout Bread can message them on Instagram at Uwstoutbread for delivery or pickup around Menomonie.


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