About Us - True Grain
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Our Story

True Grain Bread opened its doors in April 2004. Founder Jonathan Knight sought out the sleepy seaside village of Cowichan Bay to create his vision – Fresh, Local, Organic and Handcrafted bread.  Tantalizing the senses of locals, word soon spread beyond the Cowichan Valley, and over a four-year period Mr. Knight saw customers regularly travelling from Victoria.


As the bakery grew, Mr. Knight found his hands less and less in the dough as he tended to other aspects of the business.  Having the wisdom to realize it was time to move on, he spent the better part of 2007 searching for the right people to continue the spirit and philosophy of True Grain.


In the spring of 2008 True Grain Bread transitioned to Bruce and Leslie Stewart, a young couple originally from Ontario.


In September 2009, Cowichan Bay was designated North America’s first Cittaslow community.  These communities celebrate their uniqueness and make quality of life paramount.  They celebrate their history and traditions, convivality, good food and drink, and local producers and crafters.  True Grain Bread and the Stewarts along with Chef Mara Jernigan played a pivotal role in making this happen.


In 2012, True Grain Bread opened a store in the beautiful Okanagan Valley in downtown Summerland.  Todd Laidlaw, a lifelong friend of the Stewarts, joined the company.  By 2013 residents and visitors of the Okanagan were quickly realizing what Vancouver Islander’s already knew.


Today, True Grain Bread bakers continue the tradition of old-world style baking: early morning mixing of dough made from freshly milled organic ingredients, hand-scaling and carefully forming each individual loaf.

Our Philosophy

At True Grain Bread we believe that people are disconnected from their food. Totally. Not only where it comes from, but who grows it, how it is processed, packaged, preserved and shipped. Take it a step further, how are we fundamentally changing our food, from hybridization to genetic modification to adding chemicals at every stage? This is particularly concerning for the next generation.


Most of these changes are driven by economic benefit through increasingly centralized corporations seeking increased productivity and cheaper, more plentiful food. Nowhere is this more evident than in the baking business. There are a zillion ways to cut corners, to “puff” up bread to sell people air, preserve it and ship it great distances. We can’t change all of that. We focus on how WE can make a difference everyday.


Our philosophy is to connect the farmer to the miller to the baker to the community. Our philosophy is handcraft organic bread and other baked goods the way it is supposed to be done. Our philosophy is to educate people about why it is so much better tasting, better for them and better for their community.

Building Community

Bakeries have been a centre point of the community for hundreds of years. At True Grain Bread, we strive to continue this rich tradition.

Philosophy for Giving

One of our core philosophies is a commitment to charitable giving. While we’d like to support every worthy cause, we have decided to focus our contribution efforts in three specific areas:

  • Food Sustainability and Awareness
  • Health & Nutrition Education
  • Preservation of Parks, Trails, Water, & Habitat

If your cause clearly aligns with one of our core principles and is non-profit and non-partisan in nature, please submit a written request by email or drop it off at the bakery. No telephone requests please.

What We Give

We are proud to donate all end of day bread and pastries to various charitable organizations and food banks. In addition, we support as many causes as we can through product donations and/or gift cards.

When We Give

We review requests on the first day of every month (ie all requests received May 1-31 reviewed on June 1). We will confirm the status of your request within 5 business days from the day of review. Please allow enough time for your request to be processed.

Community Resources