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SunStone hangs out 'Gone Campin' ' sign

I haven't been able to find SunStone Artisan Bakery bread lately.  I'm wonder what happened.

— Bruce L., Jacksonville

Ben and Sheila Carder have produced some of the most popular organic-flour artisan bread in their backyard oven.

For now, however, the couple and their 8-year-old daughter need a break.

"We've been working hard for the past seven years and loved providing bread for the community," said Sheila Carder. "We also reached a point where we needed to be able to focus on our family. It's hard to raise a family and bake seven days a week."

While their customers and neighbors headed for the mountains, lakes and coast, the Carders toiled away, week after week, month after month without time off.

"We love Oregon, but we've only been camping once in seven years," Carder said. "We decided it was time to start enjoying Oregon with everyone else."

The bakery's last day was Memorial Day.

"We've gone camping three times since then," Carder said.

Whether the change of pace is temporary or longer is yet to be determined.

"It was a hard decision," she said. "We loved all our clients, and it was really rewarding making their bread, but we'll have to see what the next stage of our life is."

There are other factors that may come into play that may influence future decisions.

"The last two years, the price of organic flour went sky-high and made it harder to keep a small business like ours going," said Carder, whose organic flour came from Dunbar Farms in Medford and Glory Bee Foods in Eugene.

— Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@mailtribune.com. To see a collection of columns, go to mailtribune.com/youasked. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.