Missoula business Grist Milling & Bakery has been named a semifinalist for a 2023 James Beard Award for “Outstanding Bakery.”   

The annual James Beard Awards, from the nonprofit of the same name, are an opportunity to recognize the finest chefs, restaurants, and food establishments across the country, and as they say in their mission, to “celebrate and support the people behind America’s food culture.” 

In an Instagram post, the team at Grist acknowledged that they were unaware of the nomination, but were “honored.”  

About Grist Milling & Bakery

Owners Selden Daume and Dan Venturella both had bakery experience before opening Grist Milling & Bakery in 2019. They wanted to bring something smaller and more intimate to Missoula’s baking scene. The business is located in the back of Black Coffee Roasting Company where they share facilities and then they sell pastries and bread as a wholesale bakery. Grist Milling and Bakery goods are also available at the Good Food Store, Orange Street Food Farm, and Rattlesnake Market, as well as local restaurants like Brasserie Porte Rouge and Pangea.  

loaves of bread in paper bags
Credit: Ashley Warren

“The whole idea is not to necessarily grow,” Selden Daume said, “just to do what we love to do and have employees who love to keep working here.”  

Slow, Cold Fermentation Process

Part of what sets their product apart is a “slow, cold fermentation process.” After the dough is prepared, it’s put in a cooler which slows down the fermentation. During that process, the gluten in the loaves starts breaking down.  

“It’s not gluten-free but...it’s easier to digest,” Daume said.  

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Another thing that sets Grist apart is their relationship with local farmers. Daume explained that while he and his partner had a small business in mind, developing relationships with local farmers was a goal. “Showcasing their wheats through our product,” he said, “that tells the story of the bread.”  

Montana James Beard Award Semifinalists, 2023

A total of 9 Montana establishments or individuals were named semifinalists for a 2023 James Beard Award. 

Outstanding Restaureur: Albert McDonald, The Mint, Pizza Campania, and Backcountry Burger Bar, Bozeman, MT 

Best New Restaurant: The Backporch, Roundup, MT 

Outstanding Bakery: Grist Milling & Bakery, Missoula, MT 

Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker: Veronika Baukema, Veronika's Pastry Shop, Billings, MT 

Best Chef Mountain: Michael Annandono, Michaelangelo's Big Sky, Big Sky, MT 

Best Chef Mountain: Andy Blanton, Cafe Kandahar, Whitefish, MT 

Best Chef Mountain: Chris Lockhart and Danny Mowatt, PREROGATIvE Kitchen, Red Lodge, MT 

Best Chef Mountain: Paul Naugle, Izakaya Three Fish, Bozeman, MT 

Best Chef Mountain: Earl James Reynolds, Stone Hill Kitchen + Bar, Bigfork, MT 

Click here for a full list of semifinalists for the 2023 James Beard Awards. 

Congratulations to the team at Grist Milling & Bakery and all of the semifinalists in Montana.  

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