Rise Bakery owner Julian Loue never expected to turn his baking hobby into a full-blown bakery. But that's precisely what happened between 2020 and 2022when Loue turned his cottage bakery into a beloved brick-and-mortar shop in Greenville, South Carolina. Initially, Loue began learning how to bake after his daughter was born.
"I was an avid cyclist, and I needed a hobby I could do at home," Loue recently told the Guild. "So, I started baking bread."
After the pandemic hit, people started asking Loue for bread more often. So, he built a micro-bakery in his garage and worked a full-time insurance career while Rise Bakery grew.
While waiting for his ROFCO to arrive, Loue said he baked over 800 loaves of bread from his home oven. Between bakes, he started teaching himself lamination.
"When you're baking two loaves at a time and you've got 40 minutes between them, what else am I gonna do?" Loue said. "I might as well learn how to laminate croissants."
With the ROFCO, Loue could bake 12 loaves at a time, which was a game changer for Rise.
After months of long lines at his Travelers Rest farmers market booth, Loue opened his 1,400 square-foot Rise Bakery storefront in March of 2022. Located in the Village of West Greenville, known as the arts district, Rise continues Loue's passion for artisan and naturally leavened bread and European pastries. The bakes are made with locally sourced ingredients from the surrounding Greenville area.
"Pastries bring people in the door," Loue said. "The bread keeps them coming back."
Today, Rise Bakery boasts over a dozen employees and 25 wholesale accounts and continues to grow.
Loue recently started selling his custom bannetons (you can purchase them here).The bannetons he typically purchased suddenly went permanently out of stock last year. Soon, Loue found a manufacturer and ordered 1,000 custom bannetons designed to be more durable.
"It's an actual flax linen liner that's removable so it can be washed or replaced," Loue said.
Asked who his bakery heroes are, Loue says Jennifer Lapidus of Carolina Ground, Kevin Scollo of Athens, Georgia's Independent Baking Co., and Miami's Zak the Baker.
These days Loue isn't baking 800 loaves of bread out of his home anymore and often finds himself troubleshooting a broken oven, which happened on a recent Saturday.
"I had an oven go down and was working on it all day," Loue said. "I'm like beating my head against the wall, trying to figure out what's wrong with it and who walks in the door, but Jennifer Lapidus and Scott Unfried, her husband."
Fixing the oven would have to wait until after lunch, Loue decided, and he asked Lapidus and Unfried to join him for a rare meal together.
If you're passing through Greenville, visit Loue and his crew at Rise Bakery for some of the best artisan breads and pastries. Follow their baking journey online below.
Location: Rise Bakery, 1264 Pendleton St.
Greenville, South Carolina 29611
Rise Bakery Shop: https://www.risebakerysc.com/s/shop
Banneton site: https://risebakingsystems.square.site/
At Heart Panaderia owner Teresa Finney opened her bakery in Decatur, Georgia, in the summer of 2021. At the pandemic's start, only months before, she had lost her grocery store merchandising job. Finney, who’s a recipe writer and a panadera (baker), had dreams of creating modern takes on traditional Mexican pan dulce.
“I knew I had to do something with my time, of which I had an abundance,” Finney recently told the Guild. “Recalling my earlier life as a part-time baker, I started making Conchas to cope with the pandemic grief and my engulfing sense of homesickness for the Bay Area, California.”
Soon, some chef friends encouraged Finney to offer her Conchas at their pop-up. When they sold out immediately,Finney says her world “burst forward with opportunity and hope during a very dark, challenging time.”
Since then, she’s expanded her menu to include a broader range of pandulce and celebratory layer cakes decorated with locally grown, organic flowers and fruits.
Asked who her bakery heroes are, Finney says that the now long-gone Wilson’s Jewel Bakery in Santa Clara, where she grew up, made a lasting impression on her life. Locally, she loves Little Tart Bakery in Atlanta, not far from her own shop. She calls it "the epitome of a fantastic neighborhood bakery."
As a cottage bakery doing big things on a small scale, Osono Bread is someone she looks to. And nationally, Finney tells the Guild she'sa big fan of Gusto Bread and "their pan dulce using local-to-California grains."
When it comes to the Guild's impact on Finney as a baker, she says "having the Guild as a resource to learn more about bread-baking and running a successful business is invaluable to me."
Find Finney and her beautiful Conchas and cakes online below.
IG: @at_heartpanaderia; Twitter: @atheartpanadera;
Recipe Substack: https://atheartpanaderia.substack.com/
Saint Bread, Portage Bay, Seattle, WA
Saint Bread is co-owned by Randi Rachlow and Yasuaki Saito, who met working at the now-shuttered London Plane in Seattle. They formed a lifelong bond over their love of salty French butter, cardamom everything, and sharing delicious food with their community.
Yasuaki is the Midwestern second son of a German-Alsatian mother and northern Japanese father. An industry professional who has worked at Nopa & Nopalito in San Francisco, and Stumptown & Ava Gene’s in Portland. Eventually, he and his wife Renee moved to Seattle where he took on the London Plane as Operating Partner with Katherine Anderson.
Executive VP of Pastry & Angel Randi hails from the fine New England town of Mapleville, Rhode Island. Her two decades as a pastry pro include stints at Canlis & the London Plane, as well as starting her own farmers market-based bakery, and managing production at Molly Moon’s Ice Cream.
Opened on April 20, 2021, Saint Bread is a bakery and community space on the Portage Bay waterfront near the University of Washington.
“Our name comes from the Danish words for true bread –sandt brod—and our playful interpretation nods to Plane Bread, and our belief in tending to something is a sacred act.”
Before it was a bakery, 1421 Boat Street was owned by the Jensen family of boatbuilders and housed the Jensen Motorboat Company (over 100 years ago!).
Proof Bakery in LA is turning out great production while running on a co-op ownership mode, which is so great to see. Randi says she’s partial to her favorite hometown bakery, Seven Stars Bakery, in Providence, RI. “I dream about those ginger scones,” she says.
Saint Bread, 1421 NE Boat St., Portage Bay, Seattle Washington
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