Mary G's Head Baker

Photographs by Pam Harris

Jim Wills, head baker at Mary G's Artisan Breads, has had careers as varied
as the breads he bakes and the ovens he builds.

In more or less historical order, he has been a  race engine builder, a teacher, an academic, a hard rock miner (silver), a book editor and ghost writer,  a woodworker and turner, a commercial writer in print and video, a would-be novelist, a mason, and a baker.  Some, if not all, have overlapped in time and continue.

Through it all runs his love for fine cooking and baking, hastened by his high regard for the
magesterial Julia Child, whom he met in Santa Barbara, California, on several memorable
occasions.

He is fond of saying that he and his brothers were "forced to learn how to cook, because my
mother, rest her, was just terrible at it, although she could bake like an angel."

Mary G's Artisan Breads is named after her, and it is the realization of his life-long interest in
good, wholesome, real food.

His favourite quote from the English poet and painter William Blake, "Tools were made, and
born were hands," completely captures his approach to artisan breads.