“I dream about bread,” Andy Clark, owner of Moxie Bread Co., told Boulder Weekly food editor John Lehndorff in 2016 when the bakery was just a year old.
Clark’s dreams grew as the bakery expanded from its original Louisville location into North Boulder and then Lyons. His European-style treats netted him two James Beard Award nominations and a spot on foodandwine.com’s list of the best bread in Colorado.
But this week, friends, family and the culinary community mourn Clark’s death on Nov. 8. He was 46.
“He was always smiling, always bringing people together — always,” says Lehndorff, who bonded with Clark as a fellow “bakery enthusiast” and lover of bluegrass music. “From the very start, he was somebody who was intent on doing it the right way — real serious sourdough. And that grew to include sourcing grain from local farmers and then expanded to resurrecting heirloom grain varieties. He knew every farmer in town.”
Moxie was a founding member of the Colorado Grain Chain, a collection of businesses and organizations that promote, produce and support the use of heritage, ancient and locally adapted grain products. In a blog on Moxie’s webpage, Clark spoke with reverence about traditional methods of farming, and its ability to transform our planet, bodies and minds. He found like minded community at the Colorado Grain School, writing, “The friendships that I have made there over the years have forged some of the strongest bonds I’ve made in recent times with folks from near and far who have a common interest in healing the planet, nurturing the soil, baking for biodiversity and flavor and nutrition and a whole lot more.”
Elizabeth Ryterski, who lives next to Clark, his wife and three children in Louisville, says “community” is the word to describe Clark.
“He was just such a leader in the Louisville community and through COVID,” Ryterski says. “He was feeding teachers through the pandemic. He just does everything.”
From bake sales for racial justice to hosting relief events for families affected by the Marshall Fire and volunteering at clothing giveaways for those in need, Clark really seemed to do everything, to know everyone.
Alex Osborne, a local adventurer and entrepreneur, often hung with Clark at Moxie’s infamous Friday night pizza party jam sessions, where musicians — including Clark on guitar — would play folk and bluegrass into the wee hours of the night.
“On any given day when I’d visit [Moxie], I’d be introduced to a chocolate maker, a musician, a farmer,” Osborne wrote in an email. “Moxie was a place for makers, doers, and most importantly community. When Moxie would come up in conversation with potential landlords, out on a date, or with new friends, the reaction was always the same: ‘You know Andy?!’ It was a stamp of approval that opened doors and made settling into Boulder a pleasure.”
Clark felt the love radiate back from the community, expressing his appreciation in his very first Moxie blog post from Jan. 1, 2021:
“Our customers have shown up once again to support us like a barn raising. I can feel every hand that holds these walls of Moxie, pushing them up and raising us up. I am deeply and profoundly appreciative. We will continue to serve up good food with great customer service for the community through high seas and choppy waters until we glide out from under this storm.”
You can help support Andy’s family by donating to a GoFundMe: gofundme.com/f/b6eku6-andys-family