'flour, science, hands & heart'
Little T American Baker is a modern neighborhood bakery in Portland, Oregon. Founded by owner and head baker Tim Healea, Little T Baker is guided by four elements: "flour, science, hands and heart." With these, Little T Baker brings together everything necessary for a high quality bakery--the best ingredients from as many local Oregon growers and purveyors as possible; knowledge of the fermentation process and baking science; a mastery of hand-shaping skills; and a love and passion for baking. Specializing in creating innovative breads and pastries while still using traditional, time-honored methods, Little T Baker has been a neighborhood favorite since opening its first location in 2008. Little T Division is the flagship store and production bakery, with large windows looking out onto SE Division, Portland's most vibrant foodie street, whereas Little T Union Way in Portland's up-and-coming West End offers a slice of the bakery's selection of bread, pastry and grab-and-go sandwiches.
Growing up in Seattle, Tim moved to Chicago in 1990 to study at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. After getting his BA and feeling disillusioned in the fast-paced magazine publishing world in New York City, he decided to go into the culinary field and attended the Institute of Culinary Eduction in 1997. After picking up a copy of Nancy Silverton's groundbreaking Breads from La Brea bakery, Tim built his own sourdough starter and started baking bread for fun at home and at school. Ready for a move back to the Pacific Northwest, Tim joined Portland's pioneering artisan bakery Pearl Bakery as its first intern in 1998 and then served as its longtime head baker for nine years.
While at Pearl, Tim competed in the 2002 Coupe Du Monde de la Boulangerie with the Bread Bakers Guild Team USA, taking the silver medal in the prestigious competition. The youngest person on the team, he was given the nickname "Little T" to distinguish him from his teammate Tim Foley. After leaving Pearl Bakery, Tim consulted with Kenny & Zuke's Delicatessen on its baking program before opening Little T American Baker in 2008.
Tim has taught baking techniques domestically and internationally in Asia, and in 2004 was named one of the top 35 under the age of 35 by Food & Wine in its Tastemaker awards. In 2010, Modern Baking honored him with a Leadership Award for Quality and recently he was named a Rising Star by StarChefs.com.