Who is Small World?

Luke Stodola

Involved since: November 2007
Worker-owner since: November 2007

I grew up in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont and moved to Rochester in 2003 to attend RIT. Not happy sitting in a classroom all day, I began traveling, visiting Mexico and Eastern & Western Europe.  After working on a French organic farm/bakery/creamery/hostel I returned to Rochester, finished college, and co-founded Small World with some friends. When I'm not in the kitchen here at Small World, I like to spend my time farming, building websites for local businesses and organizations, traveling, and learning languages.

Makes: Drinks, Kimchi, Sauerkraut, Miso, Sauces & Spreads, Pickles, Vinegar
Favorite Small World products: Country Multigrain Bread, Red Miso, Fermented Garlic Paste

Ruth Blackwell

Involved since: November 2008
Worker-owner since: November 2008

I grew up in Cabot, Vermont (yes, where the cheese is from).  I started baking at age 7, because I realized that to eat as much pie as I wanted, I better figure out how to make the stuff.  Later, I learned how to make bread on a large scale when I cooked for 3 seasons at Indian Brook, one of the Farm and Wilderness summer camps in Plymouth, VT.  I graduated from Alfred University with a Fine Arts degree in 2003, and then moved back to the Rochester area for love in 2008.  I initially joined the Small World crew as the gluten free bread inventor, then branched out into all aspects of baked goodness. I am also the head farmer and owner of Mud Creek Farm CSA and in the past have worked at Peacework Farm.

Makes: Bread, Sweets

Allie Push

Involved since: August 2011
Worker-owner since: August 2011

I grew up helping my mom bake and cook traditional Italian food. I was given an unusual yet liberating amount of freedom in the kitchen from a young age (thanks Mom and Dad!). While experimenting with a vegetarian diet that my interest in local and sustainable food grew and has only increased with each meal. My growing appetite to learn about where our food comes from and how to prepare food that is both tasty and good for our bodies attracted me to Small World. Since joining the business, I am constantly learning about bread and life. You'll usually find me in the kitchen just around sun rise or at the Public Market.
I studied painting and continue to make art when I'm not at the ovens.I run a one-woman craft business, Soft Shell Crafts, selling hand-bound journals made from repurposed materials in addition to making paintings and drawings. I also dream of exploring America's great wilderness by foot some day and believes that eating pancakes for dinner is the ultimate declaration of adulthood.

Makes: Bread, Sweets
Favorite Small World products: Awesome Brownie, Bacon, Country Multigrain Bread, Garlic Scape Compound Butter, Hot Sauce #16, Maple Cashew Granola, Mother Starter, Pixie Pumpkin Bread, Red Pepper Spread, Sauerkraut, Sourdough Rye, Spicy Napa Kimchi, Fermented Garlic Paste

Kelsey Smith

Involved since: October 2012
Worker-owner since: May 2014

I was born in Fort Worth, TX and moved to Rochester in 2010 to attend RIT. I graduated in December 2014. I started working at Small World in October 2012 for the free bread making lessons and fell in love with the job. Passionate about cooking, baking, and the local community, I am excited to continue learning and growing with Small World.


Favorite Small World products: Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins, Garlic Sauerkraut, Pumpkin Bar, Savory Feta Bread, Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie, Whole Wheat Oatmeal Bread, Red Miso, Fermented Garlic Paste, Gari (Pickled Ginger)

Nathan Carter

Involved since: October 2013
Worker-owner since: April 2014

I am originally from Lexington, Kentucky. I came to Rochester to follow a girl, and stayed to ferment and bake. I enjoys staring at vegetables growing in the garden, asking the question "can I ferment this?" and dreaming of having a dog. When I'm not working in the kitchen, I can be found reading a book from the Small World library or tinkering with the website.

Makes: Bread, Pickles
Favorite Small World products: Almond Hazelnut Macaroons, Ginger Carrots, Maple Cashew Granola, Sourdough Rye, Sweet White Miso

Carlie Schmitz

Involved since: July 2014

I was born and raised in Rochester. I always thought I could travel to a much warmer climate and settle there until... I got involved with Small World. I have learned a great deal about community and good food from volunteering/working here. Making and providing locally sourced foods to our neighbors is an incredibly heart warming feeling. When I'm not making delicious fermented products I play the role of Mary Poppins to 2 young girls.

Makes: Kimchi, Sauerkraut, Miso, Sauces & Spreads, Pickles

Samantha BennettLepel

Involved since: September 2015

I'm a Rochester native, recently returned after four years in Pittsburgh where I finished up my my Bachelors in Arts management. I joined Small World to add another facet to my kitchen and creative knowledge base, and to become more immersed in and connected to this city that I love.

Makes: Bread

James Hallenbeck

Involved since: October 2015

I went to college in 2011 to study Religion/Philosophy because I wanted a reason to live. I graduated with a BS in biology because I also wanted to get paid to study. When I hit the job market in 2015, I was unable to find any lab jobs that appealed to me. One morning shopping at the market, I came across Small World Food and discovered kvas and miso. Always having an adventuresome pallet, fermentation became the perfect field for me to explore. I quickly entered as an intern in the Small World fermentery, and in early 2016 was hired as a full-time employee. Now I deliver to local grocery stores, work at the public market, and make ferments with Nathan, as well as running tests on products and keeping records. Outside of Small World, I play keyboards and accordion in the local metal bands Nazgûl and Arcænium, as well as a newly-formed David Bowie tribute band. I also love to bike and go mushroom foraging.

Makes: Fermentery
Favorite Small World products: Black Bean Miso, Chickpea Miso, Cucumber Kimchi, Curry Sauerkraut, Dilly Beans, Fermented Garlic Paste, Hot Pickled Peppers, Makdous

Lizz DeSimone

Involved since: August 2016

Makes: Bakery, Merch
Favorite Small World product: Curry Sauerkraut

Alumni

Over the years, we've had dozens of people come through Small World as interns, worker-owners, and volunteers. Here is an incomplete list: