“I think this might be the first Sunday in twenty-three years that I haven’t gotten up at midnight to start baking bread,” says Thom Byrd. He and his wife, Sandy Niethammer, owners of Ed’s Bread since 1996, closed the family business in Saline at the end of April.
“Thom was the night owl, and I was the morning one,” says Niethammer. She’d get the kids to school then come in to work. Thom would pick up the kids after school and coach their sports teams.
What about sleep?
“Sleep is for the weak,” jokes Byrd.
Niethammer shakes her head. “I’m exhausted,” she laughs.
“Thom will travel with our youngest, and I’ll get to stay home,” says Niethammer, laughing again. She wants some time to rest, read, and, she adds in a more sober tone, time to scrapbook and sort through the boxes of treasures from both her mother and her sister, each of whom died in recent years.
Byrd says he’ll miss the relationships with his customers–“all the wonderful people we’ve seen every week for years and years,” he says.
“There’s so much camaraderie. You don’t go into making bread for the profits. That’s not what it’s about. It’s about love and a feeling of pride producing food for your community.”