by Alex Garland
Miles Stanberry grew up in the Genesee neighborhood of South Seattle, and it’s where he launched his first business, Clockwork Counter — a café and venue space that also sold baked goods to private clients — in 2016. Four years later, the COVID-19 pandemic caused the loss of all but one wholesale client, Cafe Red, and even they had to shut down for a while. With business hitting a rough patch, a landlord who wouldn’t make necessary repairs, and calls about “clock repair” or “countertop installation,” Stanberry knew he had to make a change. In late May of 2021, he and his partner, Naomi Zandt, rebranded as Moon Village Bakery, an artisan bakery in Skyway.
The name Moon Village is an homage to Stanberry’s daughter, Mayari, whose name means “goddess of the moon” in Tagalog. The baking team’s current focus is their bread subscription service delivering bread to your door on a weekly basis or available for pick up from the storefront. According to Stanberry, “The main subscription service is an assortment. Each week, you get a new type of bread.”
Constantly developing new kinds of bread, Stanberry says they have already made over 60 kinds of bread this year. “With bread, we keep experimenting and trying different things. When I was in culinary school, people would always say, ‘Everything’s already been done.’” Stanberry disagrees and added, “Every ingredient from every continent hasn’t come together yet. Not to mention that in America, we’ve overlooked so many indigenous plants. There’s a lot that hasn’t gone into food yet. So it’s arrogant when people say stuff like that, because that’s not true.”
Stanberry’s passion for baking is as apparent as his creativity, with a determination to keep trying new flavors and making note of what’s well received. According to Stanberry, customers enjoy not knowing what kind of bread comes next, and there have been some unique flavors. “We had fresh curry leaves, and we deep-fried them to make them crispy. We got basmati rice and folded it in. The oil from the curry leaves flavored it, and then the deep-fried curry leaves were extra crispy and flaky. So we put that in there. And like people were just like, ‘Oh my god, this is like the greatest thing,’” he said.
As a self-described environmentalist, Stanberry lets his morals and experience guide his current model. “We’re a minimum-waste kind of bakery in the sense that we don’t like to mass produce stuff. We like to make things in small batches and mostly to order so that we don’t end up wasting stuff.”
Having started baking at Borracchini’s Bakery, Stanberry has known food waste. “We would make a whole wall full of bread and throw it all in the dumpster after a few days or so.” With that in mind, the subscription service made the most sense. Subscriptions take Stanberry all over Seattle and occasionally beyond King County with his cookies, pound cakes, and breads, but he admits that gas prices and doubling wheat costs are making him rethink certain details of his current business plan. His belief in minimizing waste with the subscription service will continue for now though, to make it “easier on us and the food system in general”.
A QR code on Moon Village Bakery posters and flyers leads you to the subscription service, or if you reach out on Instagram (@moonvillage_bakery) or Facebook, they will respond with instructions on how to subscribe.
The bakery is open Tuesday through Sunday at 7418 South 126th St., Seattle, WA 98178.
Alex Garland is a photojournalist and reporter. Follow him on Twitter.
📸 Featured Image: Miles Stanberry adds flour to bread dough at Moon Village Bakery. (Photo: Alex Garland)
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