If you haven’t read 5280 restaurant critic Scott Mowbray’s lyrical story about Louisville’s Moxie Bread Company and its divine breads and pastries, then click here; you’re in for a carb-centric treat. We’re not the only ones who think it’s a beautiful story—the piece has been chosen as part of the Best Food Writing 2017 anthology, edited by Holly Hughes.

Moxie’s rustic country loaf. Photo by Scott Mowbray

“Ballad of a Small-Town Bakery” is more than a run-down of the sweet and savory offerings of a Colorado eatery. It’s a commentary on the way food (and coffee!) can bring neighbors together, and how a team of passionate artisans, led by owner Andy Clark, have created a gathering place that has tightened the bonds of its community. In Mowbray’s own words:

“Communities like Louisville, in orbit of Boulder and Denver, exist on fault lines between city and small-town life. Residents treasure the quaint, local vibe, but many have acquired commuter palates. They hanker for a spot that serves the cortados of RiNo or Old South Pearl Street and sandwiches that remind them of that trip to Italy or Provence, France. Yet serious chefs and bakers are often reluctant to open a business that’s even 10 miles from reliable city crowds. Which is what makes Louisville’s 17-month-old Moxie especially notable. It’s a young place with an old soul where the owner has found a way to combine urban culinary exactitude with small-town ease and purpose.”

The 2017 edition is the 18th book in the popular Best Food Writing series, and we’re very proud that the story will appear alongside works from the Atlantic, GQ, the New York Times, Esquire, Food & Wine, now-defunct Lucky Peach, and other media luminaries; authors in the compilation include Rowan Jacobsen, John Birdsall, Julia Moskin, Joe Yonan, Elissa Altman, and many more. Mowbray’s writing certainly deserves to stand in such company.

2017 Best Food Writing is available in bookstores and online shops as of today.

Denise Mickelsen
Denise Mickelsen
Denise Mickelsen is 5280’s former food editor. She oversaw all of 5280’s food-related coverage from October 2016 to March 2021.