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/