Mary Fatzer, St. John, retired from bank work last summer, and discovered the joy of working with bread.
Mary Fatzer of St. John was looking for a healthier alternative to store-bought bread and decided to start making her own last summer. This summer she decided to start sharing her bread-making skills and went to her first farmer's market on Saturday in Pratt. It was such a success that she plans to do it again.
"I did some baking back when I was in 4-H and then through the years I would make rolls and other things," Fatzer said. "But it wasn't until I retired last year that I decided to start making bread. I started out just wanting to make enough for myself but I found it to be a fun and relaxing activity."
Fatzer uses whole wheat Hudson Creme flour and said her homemade bread is healthier because it fills a person up faster and doesn't have any preservatives in it.
"I bake about every three weeks or so and put several loaves in the freezer," she said. "It's nice to always have some on hand, and then I can use it for gifts or sell it at the farmer's market."
In additional to making and selling bread, Fatzer uses her whole wheat flour to make biscuits and cookies, which she sold at the May 12 farmer's market as well.
"I sold out of almost everything I brought," she said. "People are very interested in eating healthier foods and I enjoyed visiting with everyone and listening to the conversations around me so much."
The logo on the apron Fatzer wore Saturday said 'Grandma May's homemade bread' (a gift from her children in Houston), but she said the name of her bread-making hobby is officially 'Sisterlies.'
"Various sisters will be helping me bake this summer, and one of my granddaughters wants to come up and help me bake and sell at the farmer's market," she said. "My sisters and I do a lot of things together so I thought it would be a good name for this."
Fatzer said interest in her baking has her a lot busier than she thought she would be, but that is was all part of the fun.
She retired from the American State Bank in St. John last year, after working there since 1992.