Breaking Bread Bakery is opening a second SLO location

Breaking Bread Bakery co-owner Mark Evans looks over design plans for the bakery's new location in Tenwise Park on South Higuera in San Luis Obispo.
Breaking Bread Bakery co-owner Mark Evans looks over design plans for the bakery's new location in Tenwise Park on South Higuera in San Luis Obispo.

Breaking Bread Bakery is opening a second location on South Higuera Street in San Luis Obispo, a complement to its popular lunch spot in the San Luis Obispo County office building.

And co-owner Mark Evans is understandably excited. He said the bakery’s current operation has outgrown its confined space, joking that baking has become “a contact sport.”

“Capacity is limiting what we can do,” he said.

After five successful years, the husband-wife duo Mark and Glenna Evans realized their business had hit a ceiling.

“It’s been definitely double-digit growth every year for the first four years,” Mark Evans said, adding that it “flattened out” a bit last year.

The two said lack of space was the motivation for adding a second location in Tenwise Park, alongside Palo Mesa Pizza and near Coastal Peaks Coffee.

The entire baking apparatus will shift to the new location, the Evanses said, allowing them to expand both the bakery and savory offerings, such as soups and sandwiches. Both locations will served baked goods, including bread and pastries,while savory options will remain limited to the downtown location.

“We were at the point where people wanted us to do baking for them, and we just didn’t have room,” Mark Evans said. “It would also help us with the savory end of the kitchen.”

While they also considered a location on Foothill Boulevard, Glenna Evans said they chose to go with the South Higuera location because it provides more space and better parking and visibility.

She added that the future Bonetti Ranch complex at the corner of Higuera and Tank Farm Road would mean more potential customers near the bakery.

“I thought it would be a much safer bet,” she said.

“It was a tough choice,” Mark Evans said.

The two said the reception to news of the new location has been positive.

The owners said they plan to add two full-time positions to the payroll, one in the bakery and one in the “front of the house,” for a total of nine full-time equivalent positions. It also means new hours — Breaking Bread Bakery will now be open Monday through Saturday, whereas before the business was open only on weekdays outside of having a presence at weekend farmers markets.

Mark Evans said the added space will provide more room for refrigeration, allowing the business to expand production and cater to more customers.

Though they declined to provide specific financial details, they said the move hasn’t been cheap.

“It’s easily six figures,” Mark Evans said.

Still, the two aren’t shy about facing challenges.

When they opened their first location, they originally wanted to focus strictly on baking.

“But the county is the landlord, and the county required savory options,” Glenna Evans said. “Even though the savory was not our intention, and even though it is not our first love, it has been a huge jumping-off point to get people to try our products.”

Case in point?

“When we took over this spot, our health inspector actually said it was one of two cursed spots in town,” she said. “There were at least four or five people that failed (at the original location) before we came here.”

Glenna Evans said no prior business at the location lasted more than 22 months.

“So the fact that we have made it not only over five years, but we have grown to the point to have to split up the business tells you a lot,” she said.

The new location is expected to open mid-January.

Andrew Sheeler: 805-781-7934, @andrewsheeler

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