Dig into sourdough bread with house-milled flour, new pastries and more.

Manresa Bread, known for its baked goods and café offerings, is expanding to Palo Alto this spring. (Photo by Veronica Weber)

Manresa Bread is expanding to Palo Alto’s Town & Country Village this spring. The expansion marks the fourth location for the institution founded by head baker Avery Ruzicka

The new shop is a retail space, but will go back to Manresa Bread’s roots at the original bakery: “We want to be a place of learning. That’s always been who we are and what we’re about,” Ruzicka says.

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. You’ll 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 will also be available, like granola and bake-at-home mixes.

Manresa Bread founder Avery Ruzicka started as a food runner at Manresa before founding Manresa Bread. (Photo courtesy Aubrie Pick)

And guests can get a peek into the team’s process as they make these goods. 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 is key, Ruzicka says.

“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 says. “I want it to be clear who’s making — there’s a team of dedicated employees behind all the products that we put out there.”

In addition to offering delicious baked goods, the Manresa Bread team has also 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, and that bread nerd or pastry nerd,” Ruzicka says. “Normally with our customer base, we have maybe one or two customers asking, ‘What flour did you use? How long did this ferment?'”

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. The team is anticipating the latest Manresa Bread opening.

“Especially after a tough couple of years, everyone’s had their head down,” Ruzicka says. “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. Instagram: @manresabread.

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