Potter, Author and the Best Thing Since Sliced Bread
Some people suffering from a midlife crisis splurge on a red Ferrari or commit to a regrettable tattoo; Ben Behunin co-founded a porridge and bread company.
If you follow the Salt Lake creative scene, chances are you’ve heard of him. Behunin is a jack of all creative trades — throwing 16,000 pounds of clay and selling 8,000 custom pottery pieces a year, as well as writing 10 self-published books discussed at 400 book clubs across the country.
Despite these accomplishments, two years ago Behunin found himself at a professional crossroads. “To make a living from artistic expression is a privilege, and I never take for granted the opportunity to make people happy with my creations,” Behunin says. “But I felt like something was missing — like it was time to take the next step in my career.”
The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread
While photographing Ireland on a trip with friend and graphic designer Bert Compton, inspiration struck the two in the form of soda bread — a traditional, Irish quick-bread with just four ingredients — flour, baking soda, salt and buttermilk.
Upon their return, Behunin and Compton experimented with soda bread recipes. They envisioned bake-it-yourself bread packets so customers could easily make delicious bread in their own kitchens. It took two years to land the perfect recipe, and in 2017 the two founded The Bread Brothers.
“Baking bread can be intimidating, but with The Bread Brothers packets, it’s simple and tasty,” Behunin says. The co-founders released the bread packets at Behunin’s annual open house in May at the studio he built behind his home almost two decades ago.
Breaking Bread With Porridge
Behunin also developed The Bread Brothers’ Potter’s Porridge in a packet — a hot, nutritious breakfast low in sugars and high in healthy fats.
The porridge recipe is based on one Behunin’s mother made when he was a boy. It contains seven gluten-free grains: chia, pumpkin seeds, quinoa, millet, sunflower, flax and steel cut oats.
“There is a connectedness that comes from eating a quality breakfast as a family,” Behunin says. “I grew up making porridge with my mother, and now I carry on that tradition with my children. We want to give that opportunity to everyone.”
For each purchase of a Bread Brothers’ porridge packet, a packet is donated to the Utah Food Bank.
A Career Half-baked
What’s next for Behunin? “It’s fascinating what a midlife crisis can bring about,” Behunin says. “I plan to live by the Quaker proverb, ‘Proceed as the way opens.’ I feel like there are still five or six iterations of Ben Behunin left to explore.”
To check out Behunin’s work and latest venture, visit potterboy.com.