Women in Business: Sarah Jo Karoses, Main Grain Bakery
By Jacob Mathias
What began as a hobby in her college kitchen became a successful business venture for Sarah Jo Karoses, owner of the Main Grain Bakery.
Karoses and two other business partners opened the Main Grain in February 2011 after years of making and selling baked goods to friends, producing everything out of their regular home kitchens. Seeing a need for a commercial space, the three opened the business selling breads and baked sweets, Karoses’ specialty. While she gets inspiration from the internet and grew up baking with family members, she is a completely self taught baker beyond that.
“I had things in mind for what we were going to serve but I wasn’t anticipating the crowd,” said Karoses. “The line with the door open. I was not expecting that. I was expecting my family and maybe some other random people.”
In June 2014 Karoses took over the business herself while her partners moved on to other projects.
“I wanted a bakery but I didn’t actually think it was going to happen,” she said. “When the opportunity arose I jumped on it and I ran with it pretty quickly. I didn’t think too much about it which is a good thing and a bad thing.”
She said its important keep moving and doing what your good at but stalling and wondering is a waste of time.
“If you want to do it, do it and don’t look back,” she said.
The Main Grain recently added cheesecakes to their repertoire and will soon be bringing on soft pretzels as well. As Karoses expands the Main Grain she will continue focusing on local, natural and organic ingredients while making everything from scratch.
Her favorite part of the business is baking and decorating wedding cakes. She even made the cake for her own wedding this past June.
Karoses says she didn’t know much about baking bread when she took over that side of the business but she quickly learned from her former partners and Stevens Point’s favorite loaves will continue to be available.
“That was really stressful but also really exciting because of the change,” she said.
The Main Grain’s breads are also sold wholesale to other stores and restaurants including Red Eye Brewing Company, Christian’s Bistro, Father Fats, Downtown Grocery, Family Natural Foods, The Landmark Coffeehouse, Patina Coffeehouse and Sweet Thyme Coffee Shop. The bakers work Mondays and Tuesdays while the Main Grain is closed to support their wholesale customers.
The Main Grain is outgrowing its small space and Karoses said expansion plans are in the future but she has no idea where or when that might be.
When she’s not mixing dough, Karoses enjoys outdoor activities including fishing, camping canoeing and drinking good coffee. She lives in Stevens Point with her husband.
The Main Grain is open Wednesday through Friday from 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Saturdays from 7:00 AM to 3:00 PM and Sundays from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Karoses recommends getting to the store earlier rather than later for the best selection.
The Main Grain is located at 1009 First St. in Stevens Point.