Our StoryReal Bread Outreach is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit ministry committed to supplying healthy, real food to families who can not afford to meet this need for themselves.
It all started in 1992 with Bread Beckers, when Sue Becker shared an amazing discovery, first with her husband Brad and their six children, and then with friends.
Sue’s background in food science and interest in biochemistry and nutrition often led her to read medical journals in her free time (not everyone’s cup of tea, she’ll admit). One bulletin she read revealed the history of mass-produced food: the decline in American public health can be directly charted to the widespread switch to commercially milled white flour in the 1920s.
Real bread, this article said, had little to do with the product on store shelves. What’s more, the authors wrote, many common ailments of the modern era could be traced back to a loss of the essential nutrients and fiber people used to find in bread made with freshly ground whole grains–something almost no one eats today. Sue gave a hard look at the science in the article and decided it rang true.
That week Sue bought a grain mill and started making not only her family’s bread herself but also the flour. Almost immediately, and without any other dietary changes, little health complaints that she and her children had learned to live with started clearing up. Fatigue, constipation, sugar cravings, chronic congestion, even warts: all gone in a few weeks. Sue shared her “new discovery” with friends and began baking bread for them.Word spread quickly as others experienced improved health as well.
But she and Brad had just had their sixth child, and the demand for bread was outpacing her ability to keep up with the rest of her life. She decided that instead of making bread for the world, perhaps her calling was to teach the world to make bread for themselves. The seed of the Bread Beckers was sown.
Many signs encouraged Brad and Sue to press on in their fledgling venture. Sue dug deep into nutritional and scientific study to discover why something as simple as breads made from freshly milled flour could bring such immediately noticeable and varied health benefits to so many. Then, Bible study revealed verses that encouraged them to share their newfound discovery with the masses, while Brad found out that their family roots ran deep in bread: “Becker” is Middle High German for “baker.” But what really kept them going was an unending stream of people with health complaints, great and small, that needed to hear this message.
In 1993, the Beckers were invited to join a homeschool curriculum show and take their knowledge to a larger audience. Brad and Sue already schooled their kids at home and Sue had some experience teaching cooking to kids and parents in a homeschool home ec. class environment. Show after show, the Bread Beckers hit the road sharing their message, selling equipment, teaching classes and eventually creating cookbooks.
Brad and Sue didn’t expect the overwhelming growth of the following–they could barely keep up with the demand and thought to offer new services only as people asked for them. When customers asked where to buy grain (since grocery stores typically don’t carry 50-pound sacks of whole wheat), Brad and Sue set up grain co-op locations to get buyers the best prices without high shipping costs. The completely unique service that is the Bread Beckers today began to take shape around the co-ops.
In March of 1996, after the birth of their 7th child, Brad quit his job as an architectural millwork carpenter in 1996 to work on The Bread Beckers full-time, and just a couple of years later, with a garage (and several interior rooms) full of inventory, The Bread Beckers had simply become too big for their home and their business model.In January 1998 they incorporated the business with their longtime friend Jim Carpenter.
Jim was married to Gayle, Sue’s sorority sister from her days at the University of Georgia. He himself was a Georgia Tech man, a civil engineer by trade, and (true to Yellow Jacket form) his practical mind and love of problem solving were the perfect complements to the Beckers’ passion and drive. Jim became a partner in The Bread Beckers, Inc and manages the business side to this day. They moved the business out of the house to a storefront, but even there, their customers and inventory spilled out into the halls like too much dough rising in a loaf pan. They had outgrown their new space just as soon as they had opened it.
They found a new grain elevator, one with strong relationships with independent farmers, and became their own grain packaging facility, bringing grain into their Woodstock, GA facility by the semi-truck load. They developed their own supply network, strengthening the existing co-op locations and adding new ones.
In, 2009 The Bread Beckers moved their grain packaging operation to the warehouse next door and turned their current 10,000 square foot location into a walk-in retail store with a 3000 square foot studio kitchen and classroom, where they regularly hold cooking, baking and teaching demonstrations. Equipping the studio kitchen with cameras for recording made the classes available for on-line viewing.
The Bread Beckers are passionate about educating others on the healthful benefits of real whole foods, especially whole grains.In 2007, God put the desire in Sue’s heart to start a non-profit ministry.
As her eyes were opened to the increasing health needs of others, Sue began to meet those who truly could not financially afford or were physically unable to meet these needs for themselves. Convinced that real whole foods and particularly real bread made from freshly milled whole grain flour were the answers to many health issues, Real Bread Outreach was born. It is Sue’s hope that by meeting the physical needs of others, the door will be opened to share the Real Bread of Life, Jesus Christ. Over the years, the organization has grown to provide bread to those in need both domestically and internationally.