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Wednesday, November 24,2010

Superbread tradition continues

Photo Credits: Kevin Riddell
Photo Caption: John Gutekanst, owner of Avalanche Pizza, poses for a portrait with some of his artisan bread last year before the annual Thanksgiving bread-sale fundraiser.
On Thanksgiving Day, Avalanche Pizza will sell more than 500 loaves of bread, including fougasse, flatbreads, rolls, croissants, ciabatta, baguettes and pizzas, according to a news release.

All proceeds will benefit United Appeal of Athens County, which distributes funds to 12 local agencies in Athens County, the poorest county in Ohio.

"This is our fourth year, and if last year was any indication, we've got a lot of baking to do," John Gutekanst, owner of Avalanche Pizza Bakers, said in the news release.

In 2009, the company sold out of all rolls within 45 minutes. The baguettes and ciabatta were gone in an hour. "At 6 a.m. last year, I heard a knock on the front door. When I opened it, I saw a line that extended around our building," Gutekanst said in the release.

Last year's baking netted over $2,000 for United Appeal.

"Every year I'm pleasantly surprised at the way people came together for this great cause. All we're doing is the baking. It's the people of Athens who are always there to help," he said in the release.

This year, Avalanche will incorporate locally grown spelt into every one of its loaves and even the croissants.

"This grain is very popular; we've sold over 700 pounds of it in the last month, so it just seems right to include a local product," Gutekanst said in the release. Doors open at 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day and will stay open until all baked goods are gone.

Every Thanksgiving for four years, Avalanche has raised monies for United Appeal, which supports Athens County Chapter American Red Cross, Athens County Food Pantry, The Gathering Place, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Athens County, COAD, Retired Senior Volunteer Program, Family Healthcare, Inc., Girl Scouts Black Diamond Council, Athens County Habitat for Humanity, HAVAR, Tri-County Mental Health & Counseling and United Seniors of Athens County. For more information, go to

Avalanche Pizza Bakers located at 329 E. State St. is an eight-time winner of national and international pizza awards, including the coveted "Best Pizza in the U.S.A." at the World Pizza Championships in Italy. For more information, see


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