Andrew LaVallee, Founder
Since 1969, Andy LaVallee, has been working in the bakery industry and in 1977, he started LaVallee’s Bakery Distributors. LaVallee’s is New England’s premier provider of artisan breads and other bakery offerings to clients such as the InterContinental Boston, the Four Seasons, Boston College, and the Chateau Restaurants.
LaVallee’s is known by their customers and colleagues for their excellent product mix, legendary customer service and business model based on servant leadership. With LaVallee’s Fasting Breads, Andy brings his knowledge of top-end, highly-nutritious artisan breads and applies them to the ancient practice of prayer and fasting. He and his team desire to spread this practice — so beneficial on a number of levels — to greater New England and across the United States.
In recent years, during trips to Medjugorje, Andy grew to a deeper understanding of the practice of prayer and fasting, a practice that is common in this small village. He realized that he had a unique role, perhaps even a duty, to provide high quality breads to those in America who were interested in prayer and fasting. Andy has consulted with Sister Emannuel Maillard who wrote “Freed and Healed by Fasting,” Fr. Charles Murphy author of “The Spirituality of Fasting” and others knowledgeable about the practices of a healthy fast and the ingredients of a fasting bread. He has also steeped himself in the teachings of the late Father Slavko Barbaric, who integrated into his many noble works, was his role as a humble practitioner and educator of prayer and fasting.
In Lent of 2012, we had a strong response to our initial Live the Fast program. We gave out complimentary fasting breads and resources to many people who committed to stepping up their fasting during Lent. Our testimonials page features some of this feedback. Following this time, we decided to promote prayer and fasting throughout the year and launched our online service in November, in time for Advent. We have selected some truly noteworthy breads and rolls for this endeavor. These breads are made with unbleached and untreated flour, with no additives and preservatives and with a variety of flavorful, nourishing ingredients that will help one maintain and finish a bread and water fast.
Along with our educational resources, and opportunities to build community, we are excited to invite you to Live the Fast!
Andy has published a new book titled “From the Hub to the Heart” – learn more about it here!
Ellen Gable Hrkach, Marketing Director
Ellen is an award-winning Catholic author, editor and publisher of Catholic fiction. She edited Andy’s book, From the Hub to the Heart, and is now working for Live the Fast as its new marketing director.
Married since 1982, Ellen and her husband are the parents of five young adult sons. Ellen is active in her parish as lector. She and her husband are certified Natural Family Planning teachers (since 1984) and have been trained in St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. They have also been involved in organizing and teaching marriage preparation courses all over Ontario (since 1983).
Ellen is a frequent speaker at Catholic conferences on the topics of Theology of the Body, Catholic Fiction and Miscarriage/Baby Loss. She blogs at www.ellengable.com and is an active member of the Catholic Writers Guild.
She is happy to join the team of Live the Fast in promoting prayer and fasting.