Doctor takes hobby, making it a tasty business

Ezdan Fluckiger is proud of his family’s efforts to bring a new business to Torrington, Wyo. He reduced his medical practice to invest time in The Bread Doctor bakery, which is based on a 20-year old starter dough, some Old-Country family recipes, and his wife, Lisa’s, support.

TORRINGTON, Wyoming — This doc doesn’t make house calls, but his prescriptions are sure to please.

Dr. Ezdan Fluckiger, The Bread Doctor, made a tough decision when he gave up his clinic practice for the predictability of an emergency room schedule and the heat of a bakery kitchen. However, he and his family are happy with the change, and they hope the community will support the move.

Instead of trudging off to the hospital in the middle of the night, Fluckiger now makes his way to Torrington’s newest business, The Bread Doctor Bakery, during the dark hours before sunrise to begin his day’s work. He spends Wednesdays baking — mountains of rolls, cookies, turnovers, loaves of bread, and even curry puffs — to satisfy his customers’ tastes.

“We wanted a business we could run together as a family, and we thought the town needed a bakery,” Fluckiger explained, sitting at a window-side table in the bakery. “It’s something I can enjoy, and the family can get involved in, including our daughter who will graduate this year.”

The warm, sweet, aroma-generating business began in the Fluckiger family kitchen, when the doctor decided to share items from his family’s recipes with community residents who had tasted the products of his skills. The part-time effort grew in popularity, through word of mouth, and eventually, online contacts.

The success of what he calls a “pilot project” that began in December 2013, grew along with online orders in 2014. The search for a downtown location began that year, and the Grand Opening in the totally remodeled building at 2017 Main St. was held July 30 this year.

Fluckiger’s hearty laugh reflects the enjoyment he and his family experienced during the event, which he explains, was set for the big Fair Day, which included huge crowds on Main and a big Goshen County Fair Parade.

“I tell people the county sponsored it,” he said with a big smile. “It all just went fabulously.”

Just putting on an apron and propping an old family recipe against a rolling pin wasn’t going to bring the success Fluckiger was looking for. To help insure the family’s venture, he spent a total of 10 weeks studying at the International School of Baking with teacher/consultant Marda Stoliar, in Bend, Ore. He said the private instruction allowed him to cover a year’s worth of education in one month, and Stoliar remains a consultant.

The European style recipes are made by hand, from scratch, using less sugar, and with an emphasis on natural flavor, according to Fluckiger. He estimates that approximately 120 loaves of different breads, and 250 turnovers are produced each week, along with the dozens of other items. The menu has a large variety and is geared to the tastes and interests of customers, with items such as chicken pot pies, and beef and green chili empanadas.

“Our customers may not be used to all of them, but we hope they’re willing to try something new,” Fluckiger said.

Fluckiger is satisfied with what he calls his “career splice,” which allows him to remain active in medicine as well as develop his new, expanding career in the kitchen.

“As the business grows, we’ll put in enough hours to make it work. I’m not going to worry about how many, just what it takes to get the job done,” he explained, noting that more hours will be added as the business dictates.

“We’ll follow our hearts, and hope people are receptive and support us,” Fluckiger said. “We’re proud to produce a high quality product, so we’ll just wait and see what life brings.”

The family, and one employee, Ann Marie Wilson, turn out hundreds of items that are sold during regular business hours, 6 a.m. - 2 p.m., Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

More information is available at www.thebreaddoctor.com or call 307-534-2253 (BAKE).

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