Manresa Bread is expanding into Palo Alto's Town & Country Village this spring. This marks the fourth location for the institution founded by head baker Avery Ruzicka.
At the new shop, the team plans to expand their repertoire and premiere new products. The menu is still being developed, and will feature Ruzicka's naturally fermented sourdough bread made with house-milled flour, almond croissants and monkey bread. Customers also be able to grab a bite at the cafe with items like bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches, breakfast bowls, quiche and coffee. Retail items like granola and bake-at-home mixes also will be available.
And thanks to a design with an open kitchen, guests will be able to see the team showcase their pastry talents in the 1,700-square-foot space. This connection between customers and the people crafting their food is key, Ruzicka said.
"You can walk into a space where things are being created and a kitchen where people are at work ... My team takes great pride in what they do," Ruzicka said. "I want it to be clear who's making it — there's a team of dedicated employees behind all the products that we put out there."
In addition to offering baked goods, the Manresa Bread team also has been known to share tips, and even starters, especially with the surge in sourdough interest during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"It's been really fun to see people get so excited," Ruzicka said.
Ruzicka, a 2020 James Beard finalist, found her own passion for bread while working at the three Michelin-starred Manresa restaurant with chef David Kinch. Ruzicka started as a food runner before taking charge of the restaurant's bread program and ultimately founding Manresa Bread. Now, there are locations in Los Gatos, Los Altos and Campbell, in addition to the upcoming Palo Alto store.
Ruzicka said the team is excited about the latest Manresa Bread opening.
"Especially after a tough couple of years, everyone's had their head down," Ruzicka said. "To see the customer's reaction is a very exciting thing ... One of the joys of baking is (the team) gets to share what they're passionate about."
Manresa Bread, (coming soon) 855 El Camino Real, Suite 138, Palo Alto; 271 State St., Los Altos, 650-946-2293; 195 E. Campbell Ave., Campbell, 408-340-5171; 276 N. Santa Cruz Ave., Los Gatos, 408-402-5372, manresabread.com.
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Sara Hayden is a former writer for TheSixFifty.com, a sister publication of Palo Alto Online, covering what to eat, see and do in Silicon Valley.