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A slice of success: 'Alma Hill Bread'

Township couple eye career turning one loaf at a time with banana bread creation

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November 18, 2009 - Atlas Twp.- The neighbors of Amos Spahnie and Carla Lipari-Spahnie must have eaten well.

During the past year the township Spahnies have been perfecting a recipe for banana bread and utilized those nearby to taste the mix—edging ever closer to perfection.

"We just kept asking folks what tastes right," said Amos, 52. "Some mixtures were too sweet, some too dry. We finally got it right. It was a long process, about a year to be exact."

Hundreds of bread aficionados must have agreed the taste of their creation labeled "Alma Hill Bread"—featuring both banana crumble and banana—was the perfect blend.

Amos and Carla have since marketed their bread, which is baked at Porters Farm Market commercial kitchen twice a week and sold at ABeanToGo, 8221 South State Road, Goodrich. From small beginnings, Amos, a Viola, Ill. native and master mechanic who also happens to be a professional chef, is taking aim at going full time in the bread business.

"Right now we're selling about 120 loaves a week," said Amos. "It's my passion to cook and bake—I'm ready to make the full-time transition from my day job. I want to get the hell out of the garage."

Amos said he learned to cook as a boy growing up in rural Illinois when his mother, Edith Alma, was sick and, along with his sister, had to cook meals for the family.

"We lived on a farm and had just basic ingredients to use from our garden and livestock," said Amos. "When Mom got better she continued to teach me—she never measured anything, it was all just a little bit of this or that. I do that with some things I cook now—pie crusts are by feel."

Amos moved to Michigan and married Carla, a Long Island, NY native who attended culinary school in New York and, like her husband, has a passion for cooking.

"The ingredients are all made right here in Michigan—we want to help the folks in the state," added Carla.

"We plan to expand our market to include more stores in the very near future. We knew the bread was right when we dropped off 22 loaves at ABeanToGo in Goodrich and it all sold in about 15 minutes."

For more information about Alma Hill Bread, call 248-894-2803.

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