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Patrick Duffy & Linda Purl — Duffy’s Dough… How it all Started

Senior Guide Staff

Duffy’s Dough springs from 1952 when Patrick’s father and mother packed two children, Patrick at 2 and sister Joanne 6 years of age, into an old GMC pickup (Jimmy) and pulled a twenty foot trailer house up the ALCAN gravel highway all the way to Alaska from Montana. As his parents began to set down roots and make a new life for the family, a neighbor kindly gifted his Mom a hearty, unadulterated sourdough starter that was said to have originated with the original Alaska Gold Rush miners and been passed down. Those miners had often been referred to as “Sourdoughs” as during the winter months they’d place mixture in their beds in order to keep it warm enough to process overnight. The original organic spore from the Alaskan spring mountain air and has not been compromised in well over 100 years. It is one of the strongest sourdough strains, ever.

Stories abound around the starter such as when it blew up in the Duffy family luggage on their return trip from Alaska. Patrick was 4 years old and Mrs. Duffy had scraped what she could off the clothes yielding enough to continue the already 50 + year old mix for the family. There were often sourdough pancakes for breakfast (and sometimes dinner) from childhood on. Sourdough breads and rolls were a constant. Over the ensuing years this original starter was handed down to Patrick and his sister Joanne.

Once Patrick started his acting career and family, sourdough baking again became a part of life’s traditions with morning pancakes, dinner rolls for house guests at any time of day, irresistible cinnamon rolls. The variety of breads they’ve made from the starter have graced Duffy tables in good times and in bad for over 70 years.Patrick and Linda have both made their ways as working actors, largely on television and on stage. More importantly, family has been the focus of each of their lives and raising their now grown boys, three between them. Two of the boys have wonderful families of their own with two children each.

Acting life means that a certain portion of each year is spent on the road either on tour or on location. They are both grateful to continue the adventure of being actors. Connection to nature is also very important to each of them and they are blessed to be able to make that connection at home in Colorado, California and Mexico. Hikes, bike rides, skiing, swimming…all welcome activities.
Primary influences have been Japan…Patrick has been a practicing Nichiren Buddhist for over 50 years. Linda was raised in Tokyo…and the West, for which they both have a strong penchant. Patrick born and spending his formative years in Montana, and Linda’s familial home having been in Colorado for the past 35 years.

Besides family, friends are an important part of the balance of their lives…the histories, loyalties, laughter…the love and ongoing inspirations they afford.

“Some of our happiest memories in life have happened in kitchens of family and friends and now we hope to not only share those moments in real time but also inspire people to create their own good times. Out of an abundance of gratitude for the good fortune we have experienced in our lives we are very excited to be on an adventure to proactively cultivate joy.

Sharing life with my partner, the amazing Linda(!), I would make rolls, etc. for dinners that we would host. Armed anew with guests’ reactions, also inspirations from family friend and entrepreneur, Lance Stuart, our imaginations were ignited. We began to flesh out the notion of taking this germ of an idea commercial but only if it maintained the concept of sharing between friends and contributing to the general humanity and well-being of people.We continued to take rolls and breads to friend’s homes when we went for dinners. One of those was at Steve and Christy Kaczmarek’s. The conversation flowed, Linda and I pitched the idea of creating a business to be called Duffy’s Dough. Central to the idea would be that, in time, Duffy’s Dough would be able to support causes we believe in. Those include world hunger, education and the environment. Steve, with his incredible business acumen, began to make the possibilities real and together we started in earnest on the journey of Duffy’s Dough as an entity.

All of this progress continually returns to the simple reality of coming downstairs in the morning and being welcomed by that amazing odor of the starter brimming with new life. The rest of the procedure is my meditation of gratitude when I mix the new batch of batter, knead the dough, and see it rise and blossom. There is no match for the smell of rolls in the oven and the taste of one fresh out with a dollop of fresh butter ” and maybe a cup of coffee. And to do this with family and friends gives us the real window of hope and possibility for everything human.”

“What the world kneads now” Visit duffydough.com to purchase your starter kit and get baking.

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