Big Sky Bread Company
Big Sky Bread Company is a commercial whole-grain bakery founded by Jeff and Patti Pierce in 1994 in Mountain Brook Village. Big Sky, part of a Cincinnati, Ohio-based chain, bakes breads, cookies and granola sold in grocery stores and other retail outlets nationwide. The company was bought by C&M Food Distributing, a subsidiary of Fenwick Capital, in 2006.
Big Sky grew quickly from the original Stone Mill Bakery opened by Roger and Beth Elkus at Cincinnati's Oakley Square in 1990. Roger's brother, Barry, and friend Harold Tieger, joined as business partners, opening 17 company-owned stores and 19 franchised locations by 1996.
Birmingham's Big Sky franchise, the company's 13th, began as a 2,000 square-foot retail bakery and lunch counter in the Bromberg's building at 2812 Cahaba Road in Mountain Brook Village. It sources wheat from northern Montana and stone grinds the grain at the bakery, adding clover honey from Michigan and other all-natural ingredients.
As commercial accounts grew, the expense of maintaining a retail presence became a hindrance to growth. The company opened a 10,000 square-foot bakery and warehouse at Cahaba Valley Business Park in 2005 and consolidated all baking to that location in 2011.
The Big Sky bakery in Pelham supplies Publix, Whole Foods, Piggly Wiggly, and Bruno’s supermarkets in the Southeast, as well as Kroger, Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market, Quality Food Center and other stores outside the South. The company also fulfills mail orders from all over the country.
- O'Hara, Jo Ellen (December 28, 1994) "Just follow your nose into great-smelling bread store." Birmingham News
- De Lombaerde, Geert (April 20, 1998) "Founding trio leaves Big Sky Bread chain." Cincinnati Business Courier
- Fullman, Lynn Grisard (August 31, 2007) "Dishing with Jeff Pierce." Birmingham News
- Hasen, Lisa (June 18, 2008) "Big Sky Bread Company" Food Revival
- Fullman, Lynn Grisard (July 30, 2010) "Dishing with Lee Norwood of Big Sky Bread Company." Birmingham News
- Williams, Roy L. (October 26, 2010) "NASCAR truck has Birmingham business connections." Birmingham News
- Carlton, Bob (March 4, 2011) "Birmingham's Big Sky Bread needs space, leaving Mountain Brook." Birmingham News