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Business Spotlight: Breadsmith

Photo of Breadsmith owners

If you want to open a family bakery, you’ve got to love bread…and one another. Family forms the hand-shaped, hearth-baked, made-from-scratch grist of Breadsmith, open in Oro Valley since March 2015.

August 14, 2015

Snowbirds Janice and Mike moved to Oro Valley four years ago from Appleton, Wisc., where they were Breadsmith regulars. They love Oro Valley, and they love bread. They saw an opportunity. "We thought this was a good spot for a bakery," Mike said.

Jake, who trained as a baker, completed his studies in biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin / Eau Claire. The pull of family, and the chance to live in beautiful Oro Valley, lured Jake to open a business with his parents. "It’s something awesome we can do together," Jake said. "Everything we do here is artisan, nothing frozen, everything mixed and shaped by hand. It’s rewarding, for everyone."

Rewarding, and demanding. Jake runs the overnight production crew. Janice and Mike work the counter. There are great employees helping, but the Kruzikis have a hand in much of it, 6 days a week.

You can get this day your daily bread - wheat, ciabatta, French, Italian or sourdough - along with a multitude of specialty breads such as cheddar jalapeno sourdough (Mike’s favorite), honey raisin pecan (Jake’s favorite) and many more. Janice enjoys it all. "I love waking up and coming to work and talking about bread."

Loaf prices range from $4.75 to $6.95, whole or sliced. Breadsmith sells pizza dough and granola, sweets, cookies, dessert breads, muffins and scones. Breadsmith produces a monthly calendar of daily specials. There is an e-mail club, featuring bread-based recipes, along with tips to care for your preservative-free breads. The smells, tastes and smiles are all on-site.

"We’ve had a good reception," Mike said. "We have a lot of locals. We definitely have a lot of repeat customers."

"You have to taste the bread; that’s what sells us, the great bread we have," Janice said. "People say to us 'you guys better not leave.' They ask 'how are you doing?'"

They’re doing fine, with no plans to leave. In fact, while Breadsmith continues to grow its individual customer base, the Kruzikis want to expand to restaurants, farmers markets and grocery outlets. "It’s like the old neighborhood bakery," Jake said. "That’s what we aim to be here."

By: Dave Perry, President/CEO Greater Oro Valley Chamber of Commerce