Dave of Dave’s Killer Bread coming to SilverdaleMay 25th, 2011 by Chris Henry
I’m convinced Washington is like Oregon, just a little less hip. Kitsap County is getting hipper all the time, with the introduction of Dave’s Killer Bread to local grocery stores.
Folks who stop by the Silverdale Costco Friday through Sunday may someday be remembered as the hippest of movers and shakers for their role in determining which of Dave’s killer products the store will carry. Samples will include Good Seed (one of Dave’s personal favorites), 21 Whole Grains, Peace Bomb, Powerseed, Sin Dawg cinnamon rolls and other of Dave’s organic, socially responsible products that have garnered a growing following of die-hard fans.
Dave himself is hoping to make an appearance at the store between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sunday.
Dave Dahl is spread pretty thin these days expanding distribution of the bread that got its humble start at the Portland Farmer’s Market in 2005, tending to the family-owned company’s charitable causes and giving testimonials about his remarkable life.
Dave is an ex-con who got a second chance at life thank to
“humility, medication and education.” Now, as the face of Dave’s
Killer Bread, he’s spreading the company’s vision “to make the
world a better place one loaf at a time.”
As a youngster, Dave helped out at the family owned bakery. The official name is AVB Corp. for “a very big corp.” It’s a joke.
Dave was clinically depressed and high strung. He didn’t like working in the bakery and he didn’t like his family. He turned to drugs, then crime, ending up in prison for a total of 15 years, during four stays.
During his last stint of incarceration, he “found anti-depressants” … and humility. “You have to actually want to change,” he said.
He learned drafting and became computer literate. When he was released from prison at age 43, on Dec. 27, 2004, he asked his family for an entry level job.
He moonlighted, experimenting with new products, which the company test-marketed at the Portland Farmer’s Market. When the market closed down for the season, fans begged for more.
“Within a few months, people were clamoring for it to be in stores,” Dave said. “A little store here, a little store there, it just snowballed.”
And how! The bread is now carried in lots of little stores and by major grocery chains, including the recently added Costco, in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Nevada, California and Utah. Their plant in Milwaukie, Ore., produces 250,000 to 300,000 loaves per week, besides other of the company’s less edgy products.
Dave’s Killer Bread got its name in part from the nickname early customers bestowed. The “killer” is not literal, thankfully, Dave said. The only one he might have killed in his dark years was himslef.
Dave’s brother Glenn, the company president, wanted to call it Dave’s Bread. “I was cool with that,” said Dave. “But I knew we had to tell my story, because I was Dave. It was, ‘Who’s Dave?’ People thought, you can’t tell a story like that on a package of food. It turned out to be the opposite.
“My story really seems to resonate with people, because it’s ‘anybody can turn their lives around.’”
Dave’s Killer Bread just sounded right, and it stuck.
When he’s not making bread, Dave stays busy with speaking engagements and adding to the company’s ever-growing list of charitable causes. AVB Corp. donates 800 loaves of DKB to Loaves & Fishes, a meal program for the elderly. The company’s outlet store donates half its profits to various causes, and Dave’s is involved with a prison program, Project Pooch, that matches teenage inmates with dogs. The list goes on.
Dave stressed that while people focus on him when they think of Dave’s Killer Breads, “This is very much a family operation. It’s not just me taking credit for the success we’re having.”