Your cover story “Our Daily Dread” (2/22) is based on the premise that consumers are being hurt by the rise of specialty bread and that someone is to “blame” for creating this new “hell.” Unfortunately, the premise is entirely false. Here’s the story: Some consumers are buying high-end bread and paying more for it. Entrepreneurs are making and selling the stuff while large grocery stores aren’t. Period.
Nobody is being denied access to bread, and no one is worse off as a result of the growth of specialty breads. Fifteen years ago, all you could buy was mass-produced bread. So how are we worse off now? Who is hurt if some consumers choose to pay extra for fresh bread? Large companies being slow or inept in response to a niche-market trend is also not news.
If people like Annys Shin and Gonzalo Sid think specialty bread is too expensive or the notion of high-end bread is silly, then they shouldn’t buy it. They should go to Safeway and buy the cheap stuff. Or better yet, bake their own. It’s fresher and cheaper.
Perhaps Shin can do a whole outraged series on specialty food products: “The Rich Buy Water in…Bottles!” “Joe $8 Six Pack!” “Raw Fish, Raw Deal!” “Big Dim Sum of Money!” Readers will be outraged—imagine all the high-end products and all those big prices! And look, McDonald’s missed the sushi wave! Oh, those silly yuppies and those inept corporations.