MiVT: August First's Bread Lamps

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) They've only been on sale for about two months, but they've been flying off the shelves. Made in Vermont Bread lights to brighten your day at a time when we really need them.

When Jodi Whalen and her husband started August First bakery in 2009, her work as an artist had to take a back seat, but that's changed since retiring from the full-time day -to-day work two years ago.

"That's given me more time to bring creativity back into August First," Whalen said.

A few months ago, her employees came to her after they noticed a unique gift in a culinary magazine -- bread lamps.

"And it really set off the light bulb that I can figure this out, I can make this happen," Whalen said.

She made 27 of them for her staff. "After doing that and seeing how happy it made everybody, and making them for family and friends for the holidays, I realized that this is something I should just keep doing," Whalen said.

The lamps are made from August First's six-inch lunch baguettes. The bakers just double the batches so there's plenty of bread to go around. Whalen scoops out the bread, using what's taken out as bread crumbs or croutons. After the baguette dries for a day, she covers them in epoxy resin. "This is a product that's similar to what you see on bowling alley floors. It's hard, clear and incredibly durable," she said.

Once the resin is applied, it has to dry for another day before the LED lights are put into place. A cover is glued on top, along with a hook for mounting on the wall. The plug is a USB so that the lamp itself does't get too hot. The sales of the bread lamps, that's a different story.

"It's been fun to see how it's all unfolded and how the bread lamps have entered our lives unexpectedly," Whalen said.

Bread lamps starting popping up at August First sometime towards the end of January and since then they've sold three dozen.

"I think it's great. I think they're such a unique gift, such a unique thing to have in your home, that I guess I'm not surprised in that respect. But yeah, it's amazing how quick they have been selling," said the bakery's Brittany Bennett.

They cost $35, and since August First is closed to dining in, the bread lamps can be ordered online.

"You can't explain why it makes you happy, it just makes you happy, and I think these days a little joy becomes kind of a big joy," Whalen said.

An artist and owner of a popular food stop, has baked up a way to light up your day during difficult times.