Beginning to Smell Success

Our dad, since we can remember, has always been reading a book about something. The most prominent topics have been golf, computers and most recently, bread. His expertise comes in the function of numbers but his passion for knowledge and mastery has forever been apparent. When it came to bread, we knew the amount of dedication to come was going to be a lot. As a family, we saw changes happening from businessman to enthused baker. Trial after trial, book after book and class after class with the Bread Bakers Guild of America, he finally made substantial progress on his new obsession - he actually started baking good bread

There are certain aromas that send us into a trance, teleport us to a time when we were young, when standing on our tiptoes was the closest we could get to the countertop on which the host of the smells sat. We did not grow up in a household that made bread. However, we did grow up with a mother who bakes cookies that smell beyond divine (they don’t taste too bad either).

To think that both of our parents would one day bond over flour, oven temperature, and handling different doughs, well, the word “unexpected” doesn’t do the sight justice. Likewise, the word "proud" doesn't do much for the experience. Us children find so much pride in our dad's willingness to venture out of his comfort zone and into the heat of the kitchen. Luckily, he retained his role as our superhero as his success kept soaring with each loaf. He proved he wasn't meant to stay behind the calculator forever - at least not the financial one. 

Calculating the Concept

With standard baking knowledge, you can make bread that tastes good, but our dad has pushed to bake all-around good bread. His desire to understand the scientific and mathematical elements of baking good bread is how we came up with the name "pHlour." Just as we weren't born into a baking family, none of us are certified scientists, however, we have always been encouraged to experiment in life. Names were tossed in all directions and swatted down. There were periods that lasted weeks during which we thought we'd found the perfect name - made logos, uniforms, and dedicated names to loaves - scratched. As we sat around tables and even unloaded ideas on group texts, "pHlour" finally came to us.

Planting the name was tricky, but the concept as a whole moved quickly from ideas on paper to physical construction in a matter of days. The Edgewater location caught our dad's attention, and just like that, we were grinding out meetings, new recipes, policies, and designs. pHlour Bakery & Cafe was to be our family business. The dreams of our dad fell into place and who doesn't want a chance to fly alongside their idol? We were no longer sitting solely as his children at the dinner table. We were now inviting one another to sit down as partners. Family is to pHlour as flour is to bread. 

- Robert Wongkamalasai Partner/Director of Production

- Melissa Wongkamalasai-Monar Partner/Director of Operations