Bread Man Baking Company in Houston Makes Huge Leap & Expands Statewide

A new, 40,000-square-foot facility at 305 Gelhorn has enabled local Houston bakery Bread Man Baking Co. to start shipping statewide from Houston. The new facility is a huge leap from the prior one, which was only 4,500-square-feet. 

Owner Tasos Katsaounis is living the American dream as a first-generation Greek-American. Born and raised in North Texas, Katsaounis got his start in the hospitality industry very early as a young child in a family bar and eatery. He learned to bake alongside his grandmother. In 2008, Katsaounis met his wife, Roula Christie of KRBE’s “Roula and Ryan Show” fame who’s a native Houstonian and also a member of the Christie’s Seafood and Steaks restaurant family. 

Years later, Katsaounis started baking at home as a way to decompress from his consulting career. At the suggestion of his daughter, he started Bread Man Baking Co. in 2018. Since then, the business has been crafting specialty loaves for a bevy of highly acclaimed Houston restaurants, including Georgia James, Killen’s Restaurants, Sweetgreen, Revival Market, Post Oak Hotel, and many more. In 2022, Bread Man Baking Co. had grown to serving nearly 165 restaurants, providing golden sourdough, flavorful focaccia, buttery brioche buns and sometimes even custom breads for specific uses. Considerable public demand for natural foods has driven Bread Man Baking Co.’s exceptional growth. 

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A Bread Man Baking Co. employee retrieves freshly baked batards (oval loaves) for Postino from a deck oven. Photo by Claudia Casbarian.

“At Breadman Baking Co., we source the highest quality ingredients and never use artificial or chemical additives, which is in high demand right now,” said Drew Gimma, director of operations. His background includes learning the craft of artisanal baking at Sullivan Street Bakery in New York City, studying under acclaimed American chef and restaurateur Thomas Keller at Bouchon and Per Se in New York City, as well as managing the bread programs at Common Bond, Better Luck Tomorrow and Squable in Houston.

According to Gimma, there are only a few bakeries in the Greater Houston area that never use chemical additives. Additionally, Bread Man Baking Co. is trying to open up new opportunities for enjoying bread to those who are gluten-sensitive (as opposed to people who have celiac disease, which is a different and more serious issue). Unlike commercial bakeries’ quick-fermentation processes, Bread Man’s lengthy sourdough process allows certain carbohydrates and acids to be broken down into more easily digestible forms. The resulting breads are so successful that, according to the company, some grocery store chains have been asking for their own bread lines. “What makes us stand out is the care we give to all of our bread,” said Katsaounis.

Fresh brioche buns handcrafted inside Bread Man Baking Co.’s new 40,000 square foot artisan baking facility. Photo by Claudia Casbarian.

Recently tapped to take the lead as plant manager, a new addition to the team, Leo Garza, has 20 years of experience managing commercial bakery production for H-E-B and Bimbo. Combine this knowledge with Gimma’s culinary background and the results will surely be extraordinary.

Bread Man Baking Co. director of operations Drew Gimma (left) and plant manager Leo Garza (right). Photo by Claudia Casbarian.

“Customers call us every day asking where our store is,” said Katsaounis, who constantly breaks Houstonian hearts when he tells them there is no store front anymore, just an extremely large production facility. However, he says that offering direct-to-consumer purchasing options is on his radar. 

While there’s no longer a storefront or direct-to-consumer options, you can find Bread Man Baking Co.’s loaves in 48 Whole Foods stores across Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Arkansas, as well as at the over 165 restaurants it supplies. According to Katsaounis, another yet-to-be-named retail partner is going to be added soon.

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