Real Flour. Real Bread. Real Food
Chef. Baker. Owner
Chef. Baker. Owner
General Manager. Owner
friends who surf together, bake together.
Michael Blackburn and Raymond Smith began their friendship at a random catering event on the beach. Soon after they would find themselves side by side at Caffe Laguna putting on a culinary show under the tutelage of Executive Chef, Alexis Trolf. Smith manned a 900 degree brick oven, developing a passion for doughs and high heat while Black pumped out delicious cocktails. A devastating super storm, whose name will go unmentioned, left the two with no homes and no direction. They packed their bags and headed to Costa Rica for several months of surfing, reading, and cooking. Upon returning, they parted ways, Smith taking a cooking position on the North Fork of Long Island where he strengthened his skills and developed a great rapport with the diners, farmers, fisherman, and oysterman. Black took part in the revitalization efforts in operating an acai truck as Long Beach was starting to rebuild again.
"It was the stage at Blue Hill at Stone Barns that changed my life" Smith recalls. "When I wasn't cooking, I was making bread or pasta. I begged people to let me apprentice with them. I wanted to soak up all the information I could get my hands on."
Three and a half years would go by before Black and Ray would be reunited in the kitchen. Trolf, having opened up The Lost and Found restaurant gave Smith a culinary reason to come back home. As luck would have it, Black had been experimenting with breads as well and the two decided they were baking more than they could eat. One cold Winter day while prepping for dinner service at Lost and Found they baked thirty loaves of bread, took a picture and put it up on social media. They were sold out before the hour was up. Blacksmith's Breads was formed, with one missing piece. Shane Herbert, a long time friend, is a young entrepreneur with a passion for restaurants and business. A front of the house guy, him and Smith had tossed back ideals and concepts for years. It was the idea of a "micro bread bakery cafe" in the West End with a strong community outreach agenda that sparked excitement to take on this opportunity and open a new chapter in his life.