Manresa chef/owner David Kinch has finally confirmed a location and opening date: Kinch tells SFGate that the highly anticipated ManresaBread will set up shop "less than a block away" from the restaurant, on the 200 block of N. Santa Cruz Avenue in Los Gatos, California. The opening date could happen as soon as December. The space will feature an 800-square-foot retail shop, with bread produced at a "nearby commissary kitchen" that houses a "19,000-pound oven that can bake 100 loaves at once."
Manresa's head baker Avery Ruzicka and pastry chef Stephanie Prida have been "previewing" the bakery concept at farmer's market stalls and Santa Cruz retail space POPUP. The ultimate plan, reports SFGate, is to open "multiple locations" of the bakery in the future.
The fire-damaged Manresa, meanwhile, is still rebuilding, with a re-opening date TBD. Manresa is closed after a crippling fire in July.
Manresa opened in 2002, but it wasn’t until several years later that Kendra Baker — then the pastry chef, now the owner of Penny Ice Creamery in Santa Cruz — started baking bread.
“My goal was to create one bread,” Kinch says, “one bread that was a signature bread for the restaurant.”
That initial goal was achieved with a sour country loaf that was a mainstay at Manresa for years. That is, until a young cook named Avery Ruzicka arrived. While working both savory and sweet stations in the kitchen, Ruzicka asked Kinch if she could bake the bread.
Buoyed by new creations like polenta sourdough and sesame flax sourdough, the bread options at the restaurant rose from three to at least six. “The reaction from our customer base was immediate,” Kinch recalls. “Something special was going on with the breads.”