Meet the Makers | Bonsfocs
Bonsfocs is an artesian bread company based here in Barcelona. Behind the bread is Mònica, an entrepreneur and bread baker who has always maintained a connection to the natural world around her. The name of the project comes from a countryside kitchen, as originally did the bread. Traditional Catalan kitchens are built around a great stone oven where the bread is baked and the people gather around the stove. Catalan for ‘good fire’ ‘Bonsfocs’ is a translation of a Spanish phase. It’s a simple name, representing the project’s connection to Catalan culture, and the soulfulness of sharing bread.
Mònica is from the mountains, and the years spent living this more traditional way of life have given her an intuitive understanding of a more ecological lifestyle. Coming from a slower way of life, for Mònica, Barcelona was an adaptation. Searching for a way to maintain this connection to the natural world she began to experiment; cheeses, marmalades, artesian beer fermentations, and of course bread.
Bread became the center point of the project. Mònica formed a school to share her knowledge, and offer a starting point for those curious enough to learn the traditional way of making things. The objective of the project was never to sell bread, but rather it served as an opening to connect people back to their food and their surroundings. The artesian way is a slower process, but in the work itself lies the magic; in Mònica’s words, 'suddenly you value the time that things well done need, in the love it requires'.
Over 13 years the project grew and changed. The students asked for the bread, and Mònica began to bake more. For friends and parties, and then for larger collaborations. Behind the bread, there has always been the intention to create a conscious appreciation for our relationship with our environment. Understanding of where our food comes from and how we as consumers fit into the process. For Mònica sustainability is a natural way of life. Bread has been a way for her to live out this philosophy.
Sustainability in many ways is about going back to the old way. Slow fermentations, stone molded flour, and always sourcing as locally as possible. In a hands-on workshop, you understand the delicacy of the artesian process. Through this understanding, we savor the experience and comprehend its true value. As we bridge this gap between producer and consumer we start to understand that we are a part of something larger. An ecosystem of ingredients that connect us to our environment, and to each other. Bread is meant to be shared, and this sitting down for a meal together allows us to slow down and appreciate the simple pleasure of an everyday experience.
Stop in at CASA TAOS to try Mònica’s bread!