There's nothing like hot homemade bread fresh from the oven, and that's probably why Grandma Sycamore's Home-Maid Bread is so popular.
"I've never aggressively sought to have a big company," said Leland Sycamore. "It's just sort of naturally working that way."Once known as Granny Bread, Sycamore's product has been a part of the bread market for 13 years, and he says he won't give it up. In fact, before he ever worked with the company, he tasted the bread and told his wife to never buy another kind as long as he lived.
From the popular old recipe, Sycamore has worked to make a product to his specifications. And as he tells it, sometimes that's hard to do.
"Every season that changes, the flour changes," he said. "We constantly have to correct for seasonal changes."
The Home-Maid Bread comes in white, whole wheat, bran and sourdough. On occasion Sycamore will bake a specialty organic white bread made from Montana white wheat that's sold just at the bakery. The company also grows its own sourdough yeast.
"The key that's made us successful is that we've gone back to old straight dough, no chemicals or preservatives and no dough extenders. What God created is what I put in it," he said. "And it must always be fresh. The bread is baked, shipped and sold within 15 hours."
Sycamore's background is not totally in the baking business. He graduated with a degree in business from Brigham Young University and was a respiratory therapist at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center. He says his bakers are the best in the world.
"My bakers are like kings, they are the most important people on the Earth," Sycamore said. "In fact, I have the best employees (25 of them) in the world."
And those employess are now baking and working 24 hours a day. Last year, Smith's food stores asked Sycamore to put his bread in their stores in Las Vegas. That's about as far as it can travel and keep the freshness. The bread is baked, cut and loaded on the trucks by 10 p.m. and reaches the stores in Nevada by 5 a.m. It is on the shelves and usually sold out by that afternoon.
If any bread is left on the shelves after the second day it is given to local homeless shelters and food banks.
"Southern Utah is going nuts on the stuff," Sycamore said. "I am surprised at the numbers of people who are buying the bread." Sycamore sells his bread as far north as Ogden and follows I-15 and U.S. 89 south to the Arizona borders and to Las Vegas.
In 1989 Sycamore was producing about 1,300 loaves a day. When asked how he's doing now, all he'll say is, "We do a lot more than that, we make a lot of bread."
Sycamore is very supportive of Utah and Utah County products and buys almost all of his wheat and flour from the Lehi Roller Mills and other products from throughout the state.
Grandma Sycamore's Home-Maid Bread is located at 220 S. 470 West. For further information about the bread company call 785-0622.