2:30 a.m. Time to make the bread dough. Calvin
is throwing ingredients into a gigantic mixing bowl: water, yeast, three kinds of flour. "This is my base," he says.
"I make four different kinds of bread out of it."
While the mixer does its
work, Calvin reminisces about his late wife and partner, Meg Colao. They were pastry chefs at a New York City hotel when they
met; after moving to the Upper Valley, they decided to open their own bakery.
month before we opened, Meg was diagnosed with cancer. We had put $150,000 into this place. She was sick, we had no medical
insurance. So I didn't have any choice but to work."
The mixer is done; Calvin takes
the dough out of the bowl, and sets it on the work table. Then he runs into the pastry room, picks up trays full of cakes
(boxed and labeled for retail sale), and carries them out to his van for the morning delivery run.
"Five years after we opened, my wife passed away. That was six years ago." I ask how he managed to keep
going. "My focus was, we needed the money to support her. My dad was sick at the same time. They died six months apart."
Things are much better now. "I'm busy, but I try to enjoy what I'm doing when I'm doing it.
I have a great girlfriend the last three years."
Calvin heads for the walk-in
cooler in the bagel room. Inside are three rolling racks holding hundreds of raw bagels that were formed yesterday and left
to proof overnight. They stay in the cooler for now; Calvin pulls out some sourdough loaves that spent the night in the cooler.
For the first five hours of his day, Calvin is pretty much constantly on the move. "I used to go to the gym after
work. I don't have the energy anymore. My knees hurt, my back hurts. But it comes with the territory."