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It’s always nice to be invited back, isn’t it? Such was the case for Andrew Kingery of Folklore Ferments, who, one Saturday in June was called to fill in for the bread vendor at LEAP’s Grandin Village market. Market goers couldn’t get enough of his sourdough boules and baguettes and requested that Kingery return. Determining that there was room for another bread vendor, Kingery earned a regular booth and has been at the market every Saturday since late June, where he’s quickly garnered a following of repeat customers.
“The market is fantastic. The people there are all incredibly talented and I feel lucky to be surrounded by them,” Kingery says. “I feel honored to be invited to be part of the Grandin Market.”
His sourdough breads are a permanent fixture, but lately, Kingery has enjoyed experimenting with different pastries, all of which are made with his sourdough starter discard. There are sourdough brownies, cookies, and tender cinnamon rolls, which sell out within the market’s first hour. Kingery is also a big fan of galettes, an open-faced tart, which feature fillings such as local apples, glazed apricots, or poached pears with lemon zest, made with fruit from his mom’s pear tree.
“I’m constantly searching for inspiration for fillings for galettes because they can be savory, they can be sweet, they can be tart,” Kingery says. “Pastry is just a vehicle for what is in season and local. And that’s what I’m going to treat that as—something that encapsulates what’s happening with the season.”
Kingery has gained a following among market vendors too. “I have people who come to my house and drop off vegetables and I’ll convert them into different ferments,” Kingery says. “I have people who like to barter with me, which is fantastic. So many of the people there are fans of what I do, and I’m fans of what they do, and we all sort of inter-trade within that community.”
Besides being a baker, Kingery is also a prolific kombucha maker and all-around fermentation enthusiast. Prior to returning to his hometown of Salem earlier this year, Kingery and his family lived in Nashville. It was here that Kingery pursued his passion for fermentation, brewing kombucha and helping run High Garden, a dedicated kombucha bar. Fans of his kombucha included chef Sean Brock and a long list of wholesale clients, including coffee shops, high-end restaurants, and 100 gallons per week just for Lowes Vanderbilt Hotel.
Since returning to Salem, Kingery has also been busy brewing kombucha and tinkering with flavors at home. Kingery says that he’s in the process of getting recertified so that he can produce kombucha for wholesale and direct sale in Virginia. Hopefully, before long, market goers can pair a seasonal galette with one of Kingery’s latest kombucha creations, such as African kola nut and black cherries; blue spirulina with local raspberries; or green spirulina with mandarin orange.