We had the good fortune of connecting with Heather Currier and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Heather, maybe we can start at the very start – the idea – how did you come up with the idea for your business?
Leavenly.com was started after a conversation I had with my husband about my sourdough baking. I had just started baking regularly, and I was talking about keeping a journal so I could keep track of what was working and not working. He recommended that I start a blog so I could share my mistakes and knowledge with others, as well as keep notes for myself. Leavenly was born, and it’s evolved so far beyond what I could have imagined back then. Today, Leavenly is all about helping busy women and moms learn to bake sourdough for their families by removing the intimidation and confusion from the process. I realized that I found a secret to baking sourdough at home with two kids under 2, and I wanted to share this secret with every mom in the world. Today, I have over 2,600 email subscribers and 1,300 members in my rapidly growing Facebook community, Sourdough Mamas. Leavenly and the group have many other followers, including Sourdough Papas, Grandmas, and Uncles, too! What I’ve learned is that the premise of helping busy moms bake sourdough resonates with so many other busy and hectic lifestyles out there. I also receive hundreds of emails a week from home bakers requesting help with their sourdough, as well as messages on Facebook and Instagram. It amazes me how much Leavenly has grown and evolved, and I’m excited to see what’s next.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Leavenly is different because of its messaging and content. There are so many blogs, Facebook groups and Instagram accounts about sourdough. By and large, these outlets create a lot of confusion and intimidation with new sourdough bakers. When it comes to confusion, it can be incredibly hard for new sourdough home bakers to follow these recipes with success. They often struggle with common challenges and inconsistent results from one sourdough authority to the next. This often leads to so many sourdough bakers quitting because they’re frustrated. I tried and tried, chasing the perfect sourdough bread, only to keep running into dough that was difficult to work with and loaves that never rose like they should have. Like so many new sourdough bakers out there, I got so frustrated that I gave up. It wasn’t until my husband talked me into giving it another try (one year later) that I learned some crucial lessons. First, sourdough doesn’t need to be overly complicated. It can be broken down into simple steps that any brand-new baker can follow. Second and most importantly, I learned that I needed to stop working my life into sourdough, and start working sourdough into my life. I needed to make the process flexible and customizable to my ingredients, my kitchen and my life. Leavenly’s content and messaging is built around these pillars. Sourdough can be a simple process built around YOU! And by helping busy moms learn how to own the process in easy-to-follow steps, I am seeing more people baking the bread they deserve, on a consistent basis. When it comes to intimidation, so many new sourdough bakers feel their bread isn’t good enough because of content being pushed by the influencers and authority figures out there. Open crumb is a good example. Open crumb is the term referring to lacy, delicate air pockets found inside sourdough bread. Some Instagram accounts have became famous based on the huge open crumb found in cut sourdough slices. I’ve heard so many new bakers feel their bread is no good because they don’t have giant holes in their bread. This is a false sense of reality created by sourdough authority figures; no one wants to butter a slice of bread only to have the butter fall to the floor through giant gaping holes! These sites, groups, and figures have created an artificial level of perfection and intimidation that holds so many people back from being proud of their bread. Leavenly counters this movement with its encouraging and supportive message on what is the “perfect” bread, and it’s not based on how many Likes it gets. While I write this message in everything from my recipes to resource guides, I reinforce it in the rules I have created in the Sourdough Mamas community, which is designed to uplift and support home bakers, no matter what their bread looks like.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
First I would take them to the Farmer’s Market in Golden. There are so many cool vendors there, and afterwards we could grab brunch at Sassafras and then tube down Clear Creek. Such a great way to spend a day; we love our little town! Another favorite is the Union Station Farmer’s Market. This is a nice way to see downtown Denver, and from there, we could walk up the 16th Street Mall and check out Larimer Square and all the cool shops along the way. Union Station is also a great place to grab a drink and people watch. Raleigh Street Bakery is a favorite; David runs a little cottage bakery from his backyard and makes everything sourdough. He’s phenomenal, and his pretzel rolls are to die for! I also love taking people to Idaho Springs. It’s a quick jaunt from Golden, full of cool shops and great places to eat. Main Street Restaurant is a favorite.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Leavenly got a huge boost when I won a blogging mentorship program with Ryan Robinson along with several other entrepreneurs. He taught me how to create SEO-oriented content on my blog, and today Leavenly gets 75% of its traffic from search engines. Connecting with the other winners has also been incredibly helpful. We share ideas, successes and failures on a Slack group and monthly video chats. Speaking of sharing, I also need to give a shoutout to the members of the Sourdough Mamas community on Facebook, which has been a huge driver for Leavenly’s growth and success. The idea of launching the group came from Pat Flynn’s book Superfans, which taught me the importance of building a tribe and creating an environment where others can help contribute to Leavenly’s growth. I named the tribe Sourdough Mamas, and within six months it reached 1,300 members and is driving new leads to Leavenly.com daily. While I’ve created an incredibly helpful and uplifting community for sourdough home bakers, the group has given Leavenly a sounding board to test new ideas, messaging, beta products and more. Leavenly is all about adding value to people’s lives, and the community will be the first to let me know if I’m off-base on something. I’m grateful to each and every Sourdough Mama in our growing community!