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OUR STORY

 

Who We Are

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We are Sherif and Nadine Farag, and the Elephantine Bakery is our dream. How we got here is a journey with twists, turns, and heaps of serendipity. The short version is this: Nadine rebelled first. After earning a Masters and completing one year of doctoral studies in global health, both at Harvard, she left to delve into her passion: the art of dress, where she writes about why and how fashion matters. A short while later, living in New York City, and working in management consulting at McKinsey & Company, Sherif too started asking the big questions: what matters, what is success?

The Elephantine Bakery is our collective answer. It is an endeavor that we believe in, one that reflects our deepest values: good food, a beautiful setting, the nurturing of community, and the art of living well.

Born and raised on the Seacoast, Sherif is a graduate of Ferandi in Paris, where he studied bread and viennoiserie under the mentorship of Didier Chaput.

For the longer version, come by the Elephantine and we’ll tell you over a cup of coffee.

 
 

 

The Elephantine Bakery

Elephantine Island in the Nile River, Egypt

Elephantine Island in the Nile River, Egypt

Bread is ancient. 4,000 years ago, on Elephantine Island in the Nile River, a bakery stood. Millenia later, we are still baking bread, still eating it. A testament to the fundamental place bread occupies in the human experience. For thousands of years, bread has mattered. Human beings have gathered around it, shared it, broken it. It has fed and nourished and sustained human life.

We are inspired by this history, by the timelessness of bread. Elephantine Bakery is an artisanal bakeshop serving fine breads and pastries on the New Hampshire Seacoast. We are trained in the French tradition, but our curiosity and tastes are informed by the diverse and dynamic countries that border the Mediterranean Sea.  

 
 

 

Our Philosophy

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We believe in making slow food, honoring the craft, and using exceptional ingredients. We make our bread and pastries using traditional techniques, and most of what we do is by hand. Everything at the bakery is made on site, from scratch, daily. We don’t intend for this to ever change.

We believe food is an experience, one shaped by the space you’re eating in and the music you hear and the intention of those making and serving your food.

If we had a guiding principle it would be this: the only things worth doing are those done well.

 
 
Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; and good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts.
— james beard
 

MEET OUR TEAM

 

A place is nothing without people. We are incredibly grateful to have this team of curious, passionate, and hard working beings making the Elephantine Bakery what it is. They pour themselves into making beautiful food, and bringing people joy.

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Julia

As our very first hire, who arrived more than a month before we opened, Julia has been here from the start. A seasoned industry ace, she arrived before our kitchen was equipped, before our recipes were on paper, before our baguettes were rising properly. Never daunted, Julia demonstrated patience and discipline and a knack for improving our process. Working with both breads and croissants, Julia’s passion for dough is undeniable. She can be found frequently talking to her dough, which she affectionately refers to as her “dough babies.”

Julia loves being on a mountain, sleeping in a tent, climbing rocks, baking in the woods, and is generally up for any adventure outdoors. She is an artist who graduated from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design.

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Bella

If you have visited the Elephantine, you have experienced the magic of Bella- her radiant warmth and her generous spirit. These are just some of the many gifts Bella brings to the bakery, where she creates and nurtures community in the front of house. On Christmas Eve, distraught at the idea of the bakery not having a Christmas tree, she used her break to go to a local tree farm, chopped a tree down, and showed up in short order with tree and trimmings in hand. She is never not giving of all she has.

Bella graduated from the University of New Hampshire in three years, where she studied Spanish, including a period of time studying abroad in Spain. Nothing makes her happier than caring for people. She enjoys traveling, observing human behavior, and exploring new places and people.

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Chris

Chris is a perfect amalgamation of polarities. He is strong and sensitive, serious and goofy, energetic and calm, incredibly driven and fun loving, all at once, all the time. An expert baker, he makes bread and croissants with so much passion for the craft, and no one shapes a more beautiful baguette. Feeling strongly that palmiers, or elephant ears, were missing from our offering, he introduced lemon cardamom palmiers and is looking forward to crafting more delights.

Chris is an avid Crossfitter and loves to be outdoors, especially on a mountain. He’s hiking his way through the nearly 50 4,000-foot mountains in New Hampshire.

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Brittany

Our small but mighty front of house operation is anchored by Brittany, a lightning bolt wrapped up in the sweetest package, a mastermind of operations and work flow. She can do in a few minutes what takes the rest of us much more, does it always with a smile and with wit and with a sense of humor and so much grace.

Brittany is most at home when she’s traveling. She wants to see it all and try it all. Her adventures have taken her from Copenhagen and Hanoi, to Scotland and Norway. She has lived in five states and two countries. Her very favorite place is New Zealand. A photographer and writer, she documents her travels here.

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Kayla

Kayla is our Pastry Chef, a job which might sound straightforward and yet requires her to wrangle philo dough, chop walnuts by hand on end, translate esoteric Middle Eastern pastry recipes, and occasionally, bake with our Moms. No matter the challenge ahead of her, one thing is always a constant: she is laughing infectiously, with a deep, hearty and genuine laugh. Kayla believes in hard work. If you ask her, she’ll tell you she’s not talented, but instead gritty and relentless and meticulous. If you ask us, she’s all of the above, and so talented as well. She is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America.

Kayla loves to be outdoors, where she hikes and forages and climbs mountains. She has a remarkable green thumb, lives with too many plants, and is single handedly saving the bakery’s plant life. She’s pictured here with Bailey, her soul mate.

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Hayley

Hayley is learning all things dough in her early days at the Elephantine. She is a curious, open-hearted spirit who cares deeply, spreads good energy, and is such fun to be around. Prior to an interest in baking, Hailey worked on a small organic farm in Northern New Hampshire. There, she learned to understand the land and developed a deep passion for soil.

In addition to a passion for baking, Hayley is an artist and sculptor. She loves being outdoors, riding her bike whenever she can, doing things with her hands, and above all, loves Halloween.