It wasn't long ago that bread was made fresh daily and was meant to be eaten right away. Thunderbird is bringing back this fresh approach to bread with simple ingredients, detailed technique and passion.
Thunderbird Bakery was started by Texas native Trent Wester after surviving his first winter in his new hometown of Oshkosh, WI. Combining his diverse skills as a craftsman with his passion for delicious, handcrafted food Trent began teaching himself the art of bread and pastry at home and with skilled mentors across the country.
Co-owner (and wife) Lizz Redman was convinced of the idea when the first batch of successful sourdough came out of their handbuilt, wood fired oven that lived in their driveway. Lizz received her Masters Degree in Health and Human Development with an emphasis in Sustainable Food Systems from Montana State University in 2013. Since then, she's helped launch several food start-ups across the country and is excited to bring fresh bread back to her hometown.
Thunderbird started selling at the Oshkosh Farmers Market in the summer of 2018. Using the Wisconsin Cottage Food Bill, they were able to bake at home and sell directly to customers. After quickly reaching capacity, the couple took the leap to expand into their own kitchen space.
Using a Capital Catalyst Grant from the Greater Oshkosh Economic Development Corporation to round out their financing, the wholesale kitchen space was opened in November of 2019. Their first retail Cafe opened in January of 2023 inside of the Rise & Grind Co-Working space, at 240 Algoma Blvd.
In late 2023, Thunderbird will move both their retail Cafe and Production Kitchen into their permanent home (currently under renovation) at 959 W.6th Ave, the former Reichenberger Meat Market and Grocery built in 1918.
When they're not working, Trent and Lizz love to explore the great outdoors with their son, garden, travel, and laugh.
Thunderbird is named after the Thunderbird Ranch, a 100-acre piece of property in the mountains of New Mexico that Trent's great-grandfather purchased in the early 1900's. It has remained an important and special place in Trent's story. Interested in discussing this? Send us an email and we'd love to chat in person.