Even so, Siller and the other employees of Sweet Water Baking Company haven’t let any demands in quantity reduce their standards of quality. For instance, all of the products sold by Siller’s company are chemical-free and free from genetically modified organisms, and even though it adds to the company’s expenses, they import flour from halfway across the country.
Whether they’re aware or not, many Tech students have had a taste of Sweet Water Baking Company’s bread. Owens Food Court’s Farms and Fields Project uses Sweet Water Baking Company’s bread in a variety of dishes, including their Panini sandwiches.
More than seven types of bread were available at Sweet Water Baking Company’s market stand on Saturday in Blacksburg, and even more exist on their website. The company also makes their own granola mix and energy bars, and sells to retailers across the United States.
Ingredients are only half the recipe, though. In the five years it took Siller to learn the art of making bread, his sister’s original breadmaking instructions began to develop and take on a life of their own. Thanks to a fortunate accident, Siller developed a starter dough recipe that surpassed the original.
“We feed the starter dough every day, and I fed it a massive amount the day before (it went in the oven),” Siller said. “It was the best mistake.”
However, Siller gets help from a variety of sources. Besides his employees, who Siller pays more than himself, Siller’s four children are becoming more knowledgeable about making bread and granola each day.
“It’s an education, and they’re also bread connoisseurs,” Siller said. “They’ll know if something’s wrong or right with the bread.”
In particular, Siller cherishes the time he gets to spend with his family in and out of the kitchen.
“When I was growing up, my dad went to work all day,” Siller said. “I’m present there with them.”
While the responsibility of running a company never lifts from Siller’s shoulders, the enjoyment he and his customers experience make the long hours worthwhile.
“I think a lot of people obviously appreciate it, but most people have no idea how challenging it is,” Siller said. “It’s kind of crazy to get into it and be so involved.”