St. Bruno Bread Co. is now in 30+ restaurants and grocers, one year after opening its commercial bakery

Next time you’re in a grocery store seeking fluffy, fresh bread, beeline for the logo of the blue dog with the wheat in its mouth. This is St. Bruno Bread Co., the Baton Rouge bakery that’s become a darling of the local culinary world in only its first year of commercial business.

Five days a week at its Staring Lane bakery, St. Bruno Bread Co. breathes life into loaves of all kinds, including croissants, baguettes, pizza dough, sourdough, focaccia and more. Its bread is now served in around 20 regional restaurants such as Bin 77 and Overpass Merchant. Its products are also sold in more than 10 grocery and specialty shops, including Calandro’s Supermarket, Calvin’s Bocage Market, Cannatella Grocery and more.

“Some of our big wholesale partners include Jubans, Restaurant 1796, SoLou and Willie’s on Coursey. Some of the coffee shops (we partner with) are Magpie and French Truck. I love working with those guys,” says founder Steven Gottfried.

All of Gottfried’s loaves come from his 10-year-old sourdough starter.

Gottfried opened the commercial bakery in May 2023. Back then, the space was nondescript, sparsely decorated without even a logo or banner in sight. Gottfried worked in the warehouse solo, toiling away at the loaves. One year later, the space is bursting with life—full of workers, colorful string lights and high-energy music.

The rapid increase in demand for the brand’s bread has prompted the hiring of five employees, each with their own specialized role. Head Mixer Gracey Roberts mixes the sourdough starter and various ingredients on St. Bruno’s mixing days. Head Baker Mary Frances Daniel is a freshly graduated dual-major with degrees from Rhodes College and the Louisiana Culinary Institute.

The bakery makes Old World, chemical-free loaves using a sourdough starter that, like the company, has been years in the making. Gottfried was first inspired to become a breadmaker while watching his friend’s dad, Chef Gary Darling, make pizza dough in Covington.

“Watching a chef bake pizza in and out of an oven and making the dough from scratch—it just blew my mind,” Gottfried says. “Pizza turned into bread, and bread into sourdough.”

Gottfried soon left Louisiana for San Bruno, California, to study at the San Francisco Baking Institute. There, he learned all of the skills he needed to get a business of his own running. Returning home, Gottfried started work on bringing worldly, artisan bread to Louisiana and began his bread business in New Orleans in 2019.

Inspiration for the name of his bakery came easily. Gottfried’s dog, Bruno, who had been by his side before he moved to San Bruno, served as the company’s namesake.

“Bruno was a big, lovable chocolate lab, and he was always a stoic lab. We kind of nicknamed him St. Bruno,” Gottfried says.

Bruno died the month before the commercial bakery officially opened, although his name and likeness live on through the company’s logo.

After operating out of New Orleans for a while, Gottfried and his wife moved to Baton Rouge—where they would open up St. Bruno’s first commercial bakery.

It makes for an ideal setting for 225‘s next episode of our Between the Lines video series, where we follow the St. Bruno team and their breadmaking processes. Watch the video here.

In this episode of Between the Lines, we follow the St. Bruno team as they make bread.