By Courtney Kramer
Throughout his nomadic life, one thing has remained consistent for Mark Gallucci: his love for baking.
That passion drove him to start his one-man operation, Middle Grove Bakehouse, originating in the town of the same name, just west of Saratoga Springs. Gallucci is among the new Wednesday vendors at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market, where he offers an array of homemade baguettes, sourdough and whole wheat breads, as well as a sour cream coffee cake.
Gallucci has been a baker with the Mouzon House, a popular farm-to-table restaurant located near the farmers’ market’s summer location at High Rock Park. He grew up in the Capital Region but spent his 20s traveling the West Coast. While living in Seattle at age 25, where his friend’s family ran a bakery, he learned how to make and bake bread. From there, Gallucci’s dream to start his own bakery emerged.
About a year ago, his dreams came to fruition when Middle Grove Bakehouse was born. Gallucci finds comfort in the community aspect of the farmer’s market, between both the customers and the vendors. He appreciates that the market creates relationships that provide him with direct feedback from those who purchase his products.
For example, when I was interviewing him for this piece, a customer expressed, “That wheat bread was great with dinner last week, thank you.” Such moments of validation add to the enjoyment that Gallucci already finds in owning his own business.
Although his best-selling products have varied over time, Gallucci especially loves making sourdough bread, partly because it evokes his years of traveling the West Coast and living for a time in San Francisco, which he describes as “the sourdough epicenter.”
But that’s not to say he doesn’t appreciate the wide range of culinary options that the East Coast offers. He especially praises The Country Corner Café in Saratoga (another vendor at the Wednesday market), the Village Pizzeria in Galway, and his former employer, The Mouzon House, where his wife currently works. In addition to baking and selling bread for the Saratoga Farmers’ Market, Gallucci is also a stay-at-home father to his 14-month-old daughter.
Come and visit Mark at Middle Grove Bakehouse on Wednesdays at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market at the High Rock Park Pavilions.
The Saratoga Farmers’ Market is held 3-6 p.m. every Wednesday and 9a.m. – 1p.m. every Saturday at the High Rock Park Pavilions. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Mark has provided a recipe for an easy summer appetizer, bruschetta, which begins with one of his baguettes. The rest of the ingredients can be purchased at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
• 5 chopped tomatoes
• 2-3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
• 10 finely chopped basil leaves
• A dash each of parsley, oregano, and salt & pepper
• 3 tablespoons of butter
• 2 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
1. Mix above ingredients in small bowl.
2. Slice baguette and place pieces on baking sheet.
3. Melt butter and garlic and brush over baguette slices.
4. Broil bread for 1-2 minutes.
5. Spoon the mixture on warm bread and enjoy!