Manresa inspires Los Gatos bread venue: products also available at Verve Coffee in Santa Cruz

Handcrafted, small batch products from ManresaBread  Photo credit: Joyce Oudkerk Pool

Handcrafted, small batch products from ManresaBread
Photo credit: Joyce Oudkerk Pool

ManresaBread opened its first retail storefront a couple weeks ago; inspired by the bread program at the two-Michelin-star restaurant Manresa, ManresaBread in Los Gatos offers hand-crafted, small batch breads and pastries by Manresa head baker Avery Ruzicka.

The hours are currently Wednesday through Sunday from 7 a.m.-3 p.m. (or earlier if they sell out). The venue will eventually be open daily.

On March 1, Santa Cruz-based Verve Coffee Roasters began providing customers with the opportunity to purchase ManresaBread pastries and breads at their three retail Santa Cruz/Capitola locations. As you may recall, ManresaBread was available in Santa Cruz via POPUP last fall.  ManresaBread continues to be available at the Campbell and Palo Alto farmers markets on Sundays.

Co-founded by Ruzicka, partner and Manresa chef/owner David Kinch and partner Andrew Burnham, the company will look to expand to other retail locations in the South Bay and eventually online sales. “Avery took the bread program at Manresa to the next level and being able to share that outside of the restaurant happened naturally for us,” says Partner David Kinch. “We grew from one to two farmers’ markets to the Santa Cruz popup and a brick and mortar was the next step. We’re excited to start out with a smaller scale retail space in Los Gatos and see where we go from there.”

ManresaBread focuses on hands-on techniques and high-quality ingredients. The retail shop stocks a rotating selection of breads and sweet and savory pastries including Manresa Levain, Sour Baguette, Pumpernickel Rye, Fruit and Nut Loaf, Polenta Whole Wheat, Red Fife Whole Wheat, Hazelnut Brown Butter Cake, Caramelized Apple Buttermilk Coffee Cake, Chocolate Brioche, Kale and Parmesan Scones, and more.

Ruzicka has a degree from the French Culinary Institute and experience working with Master Baker Ben Hershberger of Per Se Restaurant and Bouchon Bakery. “I love the whole process  of working with bread – cultivating the starter, tweaking a recipe, working with the dough, and using all of my senses to gauge if it’s time to bake,” he says.

Location: 276 N. Santa Cruz Ave., downtown Los Gatos, 408-402-5372

To follow ManresaBread on Twitter, see twitter.com/ManresaBread.
To follow me, see twitter.com/santacruzfoodie.