Our mission at Smoke Signals is to inspire self-actualization through the craft of baking.

Smoke Signals is adaptive, educational baking project run by author, teacher and baker Tara Jensen. It began seven years ago, in 2012, as a farmers market based baking business located in Asheville, North Carolina. In 2014 Jensen transitioned from baking for markets into teaching the craft of sourdough bread and wood fired ovens full time. Many workshops were held in Marshall, North Carolina at the old Natural Bridge Bakery owned by Jen Lapidus. This legendary location was also the backdrop to Jensen’s food memoir, A Baker’s Year, published by St. Martin’s Press in 2018.

Jensen moved from Western North Carolina to the coalfields Southwestern Virginia/Eastern Kentucky in January 2019 to be with her husband who works at Appalshop in Whitesburg, Kentucky.

Smoke Signals now offers baking and culinary experiences in the form of week-long retreats at Pine Mountain Settlement School in Bledsoe, Kentucky. These retreats bring together participants from across the country and draw upon Jensen’s 19 + years of professional and personal baking experience. Courses also feature regional music, foods and films giving bakers a taste of Appalachia and its unique traditions.

When not teaching, Jensen can be found selling bread through a subscription service called a CSB: Community Supported Bread. Members pay a fee at the beginning of the month and pick up fresh sourdough bread each Wednesday at predetermined drop off location.

You may also catch Smoke Signals making Neapolitan style pizza from their mobile, wood fired oven Thursdays and Saturdays at the Letcher County Farmers Markets.

Interested in hosting a workshop, becoming a CSB member of having Smoke Signals pizza at your party? Contact Tara at