20 Minutes With: Acclaimed Baker & Barrio Bread Founder Don Guerra

When Don Guerra opened Barrio Bread, he was at the forefront of a burgeoning movement using a diverse collection of ancient and heritage grains in modern food. The idea might sound commonplace in 2021, but a decade ago it was cutting-edge to have such an old-school ethos.

“The entire idea of there being different species of wheat to work with just totally vanished,” the Tuscon, Ariz.-based Guerra says, owing to the agricultural shift away from small farms to mass production in the middle of the 20th century. “People thought there was rye, whole wheat, and white flour, and that’s it.”

From his humble origins in a garage bakery, Guerra, 50, has built Barrio Bread into a string of interconnected food businesses—including the newly opened Barrio Charro, a collaboration with fellow Tucson chef and restaurateur Carlotta Flores.

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