'Selling like wildfire': Mott couple finds success with new bakery

Nov. 30—MOTT, N.D. — Faith led Kyla and Corey L'Esperance to embark on an entrepreneurial journey when they launched Hope Homestead Bakery and Market.

New friendships have guided them along the way. The endeavor began when the couple received a sourdough starter from a family member about two years ago and began using it to make bread.

"We just got better and better at it, things got easier and it just came natural," Kyla L'Esperance said. "So we feel that God opened this door for us to be able to live out our dream of reaching different people with our home cooked foods."

They had been enjoying their sourdough creations amongst their own family for about a year when Corey decided they should share it with others. They began offering it at farmers markets.

"We were both raised to be independent thinkers and have that entrepreneurial spirit, so to speak," Kyla said. "We would sell out at every market."

Eventually they brought their bread to

The Wurst Shop

in Dickinson, where they met owner Ken Molitor. He loved their products, encouraged the L'Esperances to obtain the necessary licensing so he could sell their baked goods in his shop and helped them with that process.

"We have just been surrounded by mentors," Kyla said. "We both believe that there are mentors all around you if you're willing to learn, accept their help and are open-minded to being teachable. And Ken is one of those people. You know he takes you under his wing. He teaches you the ropes and helps you navigate all of those things that you have to do to become licensed, because it can be overwhelming."

They weren't sure how they were going to get licensed without a commercial kitchen, but Molitor had an idea. He also sells products by Mares Creations and knew the owner of that company, Marian Jordan, could lend a helping hand.

As fate would have it, Jordan is actually the couple's neighbor. She was happy to work with and allow them to use her state licensed kitchen where she creates jams and jellies. Although their farmsteads are just a few miles apart, the neighbors had never met, nor did they have any idea about the products each were producing until Molitor brought them together.

"Sometimes the world can be pretty small," Jordan said. "The Lord had a lot to do with this."

The L'Esperances became licensed Oct. 1, allowing them to wholesale their products to retailers. They immediately made Hope Homestead their main focus.

"You know, with God opening all the doors that he did for us, we just jumped in," Corey said. "We just jumped in and fully committed."

Their new friend and neighbor has continued to help them along the way.

"She knows so much, and she's been doing it for decades," Kyla said. "She's guided us in so many ways and been like family to our children."

Molitor said he is happy to have their products on his shelves, which the L'Esperances deliver fresh twice a week.

"It sells like wildfire," he said. "And it's bringing customers in."

The name L'Esperance means "hope" in French.

"Hope to us, is a way to live, a lifestyle — something so many have never had, have lost, or need to be reminded of — even us at times," the couple's mission statement reads.

With the company slogan "fellowship over provisions," they want their bread to bring people together.

"That's truly what we want, is someone to come grab our product for Thanksgiving dinner... fellowship with their family members or their friends over that provision," Corey L'Esperance said. "It's made with love."

The couple moved from Dickinson to the Mott area with their three children in 2021.

"We moved out to a hobby farm. We wanted to just become more self-sufficient, live off our land, be able to homeschool our kids and do something as a family; just get back to our roots," Kyla said.

They eventually hope to incorporate their farm, where they raise cattle, hens, ducks, pigs and a horse, into an expansion of Hope Homestead.

"What we foresee happening — and we hope the right doors open — is to build a bakery on our own property and a little storefront eatery within that where people can come and stay, go explore our little funny farm," Kyla said.

In the meantime, the couple continues to create sourdough and yeast breads, oil season packets, soup, kuchen, cini minis and seasonal cookies. They currently wholesale to The Wurst Shop,

Suzy's Stash

in Richardton, New England's

Feel Good Coffee Company

and the Mott Equity C-Store.