This week we are highlighting DeRego’s Bread, an artisan bakery right here in the heart of Starkville. We interviewed Troy DeRego the owner who began selling his products at the Starkville Community Market in 2013. He had the opportunity to test out his products, meet customers, and see if baking bread on a larger scale was something he wanted to get into.
Since his opening there has been an excitement in the Starkville community for a truly artistic form of bread baking.
We asked Troy questions that would give us a better idea of who he is, and how he got into the industry that his is so passionate about today.
What was your inspiration for going into the bread/food industry?
My wife and I love to travel all over the world and always return with fond memories of food we ate and cool cafés and bars we visited. In a way, the bakery is a way to bring those memories to life everyday and to provide a place for people who visit Starkville to perhaps have their own memorable experience.
What made you choose Starkville?
My wife, Becky Hagenston, is an associate professor of Creative Writing in the English department. We have lived in Starkville for more than ten years now. I guess in some ways, Starkville chose us, but we have great friends, a nice house, and the quality of life here continues to improve so we have grown to love it here.
What is your most popular item? What do you enjoy making most?
We make a Starkville Sourdough, named because of the local wild yeast used to leaven, or “raise” the bread just like they do in San Francisco. It is fun to make and fun to talk to people about how it is made.
Personally, what is your favorite product?
I really enjoy making baguettes. This is the long loaves of French bread you see in photos of Paris. It is a very specific shape and size. It is a bread that you can use to compare your technique and the quality of what you are producing. It is like playing a piece of music that you try and try to perfect and probably never will, but the results along the way are really enjoyable!
Can you give me an insight on who you are, and your company's culture and goals for DeRego's Bread?
Our goal is to exceed expectation in everything we do and create a valuable experience for our customers. We live in a world where the choices we make for convenience have made our food less delicious, less nutritious, and in some case more harmful. The real thing has always been there, but you have to be willing to put in the work to get it. It takes 2 to 3 days to make each of our breads using long slow fermentation, but that is what makes them so delicious and good for you. There are no short cuts for that. The great thing is that there are many people who are eager for something “real” and have been filling up my shop!
What is a fun fact about you, or an interesting story that occurred while opening your business?
A fun fact is that I baked my very first loaf of bread in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean while spending a semester at sea on a research sailing ship.
So there you have it folks, from the Atlantic to the Tombigbee, Troy DeRego has been perfecting his craft all around the world, and here he is right in the middle of Bulldog Country! You can visit his shop at 109 W Main Street near the new Starkville City Hall construction, or you can check out his website deregosbread.com.
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