By Jesse Blanco
Kim Tavino and her son Ryan Fennessey have sprouted an empire – literally. Like the launch of many successful businesses, the idea of Sprout Momma Breads germinated around a kitchen table. Kim, who has owned restaurants in the past, is a personal trainer and encourages her clients to eat nutritious bread containing sprouts.
In 2010, she started baking breads in her home on Hilton Head Island as gifts. The clients were so enamored by her sprouted breads that she recruited her son Ryan, a professional chef, to develop different bread recipes and she does the sprouting. As the mother-and-son team’s following grew, close friends Chris and David Martin of the Piggly Wiggly off Coligny Beach offered the use of the supermarket’s commercial ovens to enable Ryan to bake enough bread to supply the Forsythe Park and Bluffton farmers markets and other high-volume farmers markets they began servicing. Ryan is the first to tell you he’s “obsessed with bread and creating new recipes.” Kim’s daughter Abby is also on board, helping with marketing and the day-to-day operations. Baker Caitlin Anderson, a seasoned specialty cake decorator, is expanding the bakery’s line with cookies, biscotti and yes, wedding cakes. However cliché it may sound – they are one, busy happy family. Kim loves working with her children and her other dedicated employees: “I have a honeypot of people!”
The Sprout Momma Breads bakery opened in May of 2017 and then in November the grab-and-go space opened for breakfast and lunch with a few tables within view of the busy bakers. “We opened as a production space and it’s a small location. We said, why don’t we just add a retail space?” explains Kim. The bakery is not among the tourist hot spots but closer to the Hilton Head Airport on Cardinal Road, just off Beach City Road. And when you spot Sprout Momma Breads’ red igloo-shaped pizza oven being hauled around the Lowcountry, chances are really good it’s on its way to a food festival or a private catering event. “The reception has been very, very positive and people are very kind.” adds Ryan.
More than 1000 loaves of bread come out of the bakery weekly – charcoal, buttermilk molasses, spent grain, Amish milk, and spelt, among them – to supply the farmers markets, restaurants, supermarkets and walk-in customers. “We’re also doing granola, soups, curries, chowders, chilies, vegan cheeses and kombucha. – and whatever else I feel like making.” says Kim. The farrow, ancient grain and chick pea prepared salads are popular, too.
Upcoming co-op events include, pairing wine and cocktails with breads and spreads at the nearby Island Winery and Hilton Head Distillery and they bakery will soon offer small scale dinners where guests can watch Ryan cook. “We’ll be holding a first-year anniversary party in the large parking lot in front of the bakery. We have partnered with businesses like The Oilerie and many others. Local is the way to go. It’s nice to promote other new, local businesses.” says Abby.
They’re closed on Sundays and Mondays. Bakers need to rejuvenate too.