Mariam Dannawi has been selling her artisan breads and other baked goods at the Truro Farmers’ Market for about three years, and has now opened Red Knot Bakery on Prince Street.
“When I was growing up my dad would always bring home artisan breads and I really liked them,” she said. “I started making bread to try and get the same tastes. I’ve been a hobby baker for several years, but baking one loaf is one thing and baking 30 is another.”
Dannawi, who was born in Ontario and spent part of her childhood in Lebanon, came to Nova Scotia to attend Dalhousie University. While there she met Brendan Neima, whom she married and moved to Truro with.
She started making a few loaves of bread to sell while working at Healthy Habit, then opened a stall at the market. For about a year and a half she rented the kitchen at St. Andrew’s United Church on Friday evenings to do her baking.
“I felt I was outgrowing the church kitchen and I wanted to do this full time so I started looking for a space,” she said. “This place became available and the size is perfect so I jumped at the idea.”
She began baking in the new spot in January, and on July 4 began selling on site. She was concerned she might just have her market customers buying through the week, leading to poor sales on Saturday, but many of the people who’ve been in are new to her. Some heard about the business from friends or on social media, and others just noticed it while passing by.
Dannawi started with three types of bread, but now bakes 10 to 12 types each week. She uses sourdough because she likes the flavour it helps create. She uses a variety of flours including spelt, kamut and red fife (from Speerville Flour Mill in New Brunswick and Meunerie Milanaise in Quebec). She also makes pastries, brioche, babka and sweets.
The 29-year-old gets business advice from friends and her dad, who are entrepreneurs, and did some volunteer work at a bakery in the past in order to learn more.
Her husband grows pesticide-free vegetables, which will also be available at the shop.
“Being here is great because it gives us both an opportunity to expand our businesses and our passions,” she added.
For more information check out the website at https://www.redknotbakery.com/
Location: 596 Prince St.
Open: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Saturday at the Truro Farmers’ Market
The name: Dannawi was interested in using a bird in the image and chose the red knot, which has a reddish body and makes one of the longest migrations, travelling from Arctic breeding grounds to southern South America.