PICTURED: Clockwise from top left: rosemary baguette, apple pie, Caprese sandwich with lemon tart and salami sandwich with spinach tart. Photo by Kateri Wozny

Roan Mills Bakery
411 Central Ave., Fillmore
$1 – $25

If you’re looking for a fresh loaf of whole grain bread or, now that the holidays are here, a pie that tastes like it came right out of grandma’s kitchen, I’ve got the place for you: Roan Mills Bakery in downtown Fillmore.

This isn’t just your average wheat producer. The bakery opened in 2017 and is owned by Andrea Crawford and Robert Dedlow, who are the first farmer/miller/baker/pasta makers in the whole state of California. They are also the owners of Kenter Canyon Farms and grow and harvest their wheat varieties from November to June.

The bakery has a farm-like feel to it. Tables on two sides of the room are filled with fresh produce, including eggs, greens and honey, along with pasta, wheat berries and a variety of wheat flours, including Sonora, Glenn, Red Fife, durum and buckwheat.

The baking magic begins each day in the mill room, where a 20-inch Meadows Mill processes the wheat berries and grains into fresh flour combined with filtered water, sea salt and a sourdough starter to create the bread dough. The bread is then shaped and baked to perfection to give that rustic look and crisp crust. There is also a spot to experiment with milling the wheat berries. I tried it and it was fun!

A counter in the middle of the bakery features a variety of breads, sandwiches, pies, cookies, scones and tarts. After staring at the menu, we decided on two Ficelle bread sandwiches: the salami sandwich ($8) with salami, Manchego cheese, arugula and herb butter, and the Caprese sandwich ($8) with mozzarella cheese, tomato, basil and pesto.

Both sandwiches were not too salty and the vegetables tasted fresh. It was almost like the bread came right out of the oven! I do have to say that the salami sandwich with that herb butter really brought out the whole flavor of the sandwich.

We also ordered two tarts: a lemon tart ($5) with candied lemon rind and a spinach tart ($5) with spinach, caramelized onion, mushroom and Manchego cheese.

The lemon tart had a very strong lemon flavor from the rind bits. And OMG! It wasn’t too sweet and had the most lemony and explosive flavor I have ever had in my life. As for the spinach tart, it was a perfect pastry to have for a late breakfast. I could really taste the burst of Manchego cheese and mushrooms.

My co-worker wanted to try the rosemary baguette ($4) with a blend of Sonora and durum flour, water, sea salt and fresh rosemary. It tasted very tangy with just the right amount of crunch.

Finally, a slice of heaven with an apple pie ($25). Again, none of the desserts we had were too sweet, and the apples were ripe and juicy with just a touch of brown sugar, all inside a puff pastry that was flaky and light.

Here’s the first kicker (there are two): There is no place to sit and eat the gourmet wheat creations, so we had to order it to go. We decided to go to a nearby park and have a picnic; it was a perfect sunny day for it. We washed our food down with a can of San Pellegrino Dark Cherry and Pomegranate mineral water ($3) and a can of Cold Brew Vanilla Latte ($5) from the refrigerator of the bakery.

Sound delicious? Here’s the second kicker: they are only open two days a week, Wednesday and Saturday, from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. In the summer, the bakery also offers Pizza Fridays with live music. I’m telling you, take the drive up there, you won’t regret it.

Kateri Wozny is a foodie who loves indulging in the latest dishes around the 805. Follow her on Instagram @kitkatwozny.