Now more than ever, people want to know what they’re putting in their body, where it came from, and how it will make them feel. Our founder, Nick Ambeliotis, was a pioneer in this regard; he’s been scouring both the U.S. and Europe for the highest quality ingredients since long before it was trending, and knew that it was only a matter of time before the rest of us caught up. That’s why Mediterra has been focused on fresh ingredients and traditional techniques since we pulled our first loaf of bread out of the oven back in 2002.
You want to know where our ingredients come from, and we’re proud to tell you. From the very beginning, it has been our goal to provide our customers with the most delicious loaf of bread they’ve ever tasted. To achieve this, we knew that we had to start with the freshest, highest quality ingredients; our grains being quite possibly the most critical. With this intention at the forefront of our mind, we decided in 2001 to take our baking to the next level. From there, our Farm | Mill | Bake program was born.
Nick began developing relationships with local farmers as far back as 2001, in search of the perfect partner to fulfill a specific mission: to work directly with a farmer to achieve the perfect heritage grain for artisan bread baking for both of our bakeries (Pennsylvania + Arizona). Nick eventually found his match just outside of Coolidge, Arizona, when he met farmer Noah Hiscox, who’s been farming 3,000 acres in Pinal County, Arizona for over 40 years. Noah is an excellent steward of the land by using irrigation ports, concrete ditching, constant crop rotation and sustainable, organic farming methods.
In October 2015, we launched Farm | Mill | Bake alongside Noah, and our very own red fife heritage grain was planted on 35 acres of contracted land. In the summer of 2016, we celebrated our first harvest.
In most conventional bakeries today, flour is purchased from a third-party supplier, which in turn means there is no control in the milling process, thus many potential nutrients are lost. After extensive research, we purchased our first mill: stone-ground and constructed in Austria. With a very slow rotation rate per minute, this mill resulted in greater nutrient retention.
While we loved our Austrian mill, we eventually outgrew it. In 2021, we traded it in for something bigger and better: a New American Stone Mill capable of milling a variety of grains.
It’s no secret that at Mediterra, we like to keep things traditional. Milling our own grains brings back an old-world style when grains were non-hybridized, resulting in a more flavorful flour and ultimately, a more flavorful loaf.
Today, we use our red fife flour for the majority of production. Our whole wheat red fife flour contains 100% of the vitamins and minerals naturally occurring in wheat. Red Fife is a heritage variety of hard red spring wheat, and has been grown in Canada since as far back as 1840. With high protein and a complex, nutty and sometimes sweet flavor, this heritage grain flour is ideal for baking bread.