Dave was born in 1963 and grew up in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, a Protestant denomination that encourages followers to be vegetarian and avoid alcohol, tobacco, and, in some cases, caffeine. His parents, Jim and Wanene, ran a bakery in Southeast Portland. The Dahls were making organic, sprouted-wheat, non-GMO, no-animal-fat bread before there was such a thing as “certified organic” — their faith helped them be ahead of the curve during the ’70s, “when nobody cared” about such labels, as Dave says.
There’s not a lot of money in the bread business, especially not when one store is feeding a family of six. When Dave was born, the Dahls lived in a small, shabby house that he called a shanty. “It was the most run-down house in the neighborhood,” Dave recalls. He and his siblings — a sister and two brothers — worked at the bakery as soon as they were old enough. “Whenever we weren’t in school we were working.” According to Glenn, the eldest sibling, they made 25 cents an hour — five was used to buy clothing, 10 went to pay for school, and the last 10 cents was pocket money.
From one angle, Dave’s childhood appears idyllic: a hardworking, all-American family living and toiling together in a bakery just a half mile from their home. But from the beginning, it seemed, Dave was the bad seed. He grew distant from the church that was so important to his family and almost everyone he knew. He was depressed, suicidal, had trouble making friends.
Read more about the man behind Dave’s Killer Bread by Tove K. Danovich at The Ringer
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