Former Hollywood executive finds new life in baking

Image of Bob Oswaks courtesy of Bob's Well Bread Bakery
 
In 2011, Bob Oswaks was facing a crossroads in his life. He had just been laid off by Sony, where he had been President of Marketing for the company. At the age of 50 he had to look for a new career. That’s when he turned to bread.

“I had just been laid off from a really big job,” Oswaks tells Hollywood Reporter. “And I started making bread and pizza in my backyard — a wood-fired oven — as therapy. I was struck by the visceral pleasure of doing something with my hands.”

It was a phone call from legendary television writer-producer Norman Lear that gave him the encouragement to go forward.  “Norman told me, 'Life is not about doing the same thing your entire career. Sometimes life is about changing things up.’”

Oswaks began taking bread-baking classes at the San Francisco Baking Institute over a two-year period. He also had a consultant help him write up a business plan. He even got help from a friend, chef and TV personality Giada De Laurentiis. She asked him to bake bread for a large event she was managing and that helped give him the confidence to bake bread for a living.

Image of Bob Oswaks courtesy of Bob's Well Bread Bakery
 
He and his wife Jane designed a bakery out of a refurbished gas station in Los Alamos, California, and in 2014 they opened Bob’s Well Bread Bakery. The location offers artisan bread such as the Pain au Levain, the shop’s signature country loaf. The bread lineup changes every day, but each day offers a deep variety.

The bakery also offers diverse pastries, full breakfast and lunch menus, and much more.

Bob’s Well Bread has now been open for almost three years and Oswaks is excited to see his business continue to grow. He uses some of the lessons learned from his previous career in his new line of work. “Now, instead of marketing Seinfeld or Breaking Bad, I'm marketing my own product,” he says.