the red-hot bread man

Houston's Bread Man rises again with massive new facility and fresh face

Houston's Bread Man rises again with massive new facility, fresh face

Jess DeSham Timmons Tasos Katsaounis Drew Gimma Bread Man Baking
Jess DeSham Timmons, Tasos Katsaounis, and Drew Gimma. Photo by Pop Studios PR

Houston's Bread Man Baking Company keeps rising to new heights. Owner Tasos Katasounis announced that he's leased a new, 40,000-square foot facility in east Houston that will replace the 4,800-square foot bakery Bread Man currently occupies in southwest Houston. 

In addition, Katsaounis has hired chef Jess DeSham Timmons to serve as the company's foodservice sales manager and retained local design firm Primer Grey to refreshen Bread Man's branding with more explicit ties to its Greek heritage. The moves as Bread Man has experienced tremendous growth — 600 percent year-over-year since 2018 and 64 percent during 2020, the company stated in a release.

Timmons brings an extensive resume to Bread Man, including a lengthy career at Landry's as well as the Redneck Country Club. Most recently, she had been the executive chef for Cherry Block Craft Butcher at Bravery Chef Hall. She tells CultureMap that she'll remain a partner in Cherry Block with founder Felix Florez but will no longer be a daily presence in the kitchen. 

"Felix and I built that brand as a team, and we intend to continue working together," she says. "Bread Man will be my main focus, and I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to create a program here." 

Katsaounis has made other changes recently to help grow Bread Man, which serves restaurants in Houston as well as 14 Houston-area H-E-Bs and Whole Foods stores in Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana. In November, he hired baker Drew Gimma (Common Bond, Squable) to serve as director of operations; in December, he ended his involvement with White Elm Cafe Bakery in Memorial, a restaurant named for the street in Dallas he grew up on.

“The dynamic experience Jess brings along with her strong relationships among the hospitality community makes her the perfect person to represent our brand and lead the foodservice sales division,” Katsaounis said in a statement. “I’m building my dream team: first Drew leading operations and now Jess; it’s always been my goal to surround myself with the very best people in the industry to help me grow the company.”

Founded in 2018, Bread Man has been growing quickly. Initially, Katsaounis started as a hobbyist who rekindled his childhood interest in baking for friends and family. An enthusiastic response to pictures of his breads on social media — along with some encouragement from his wife, Houston radio legend Roula Christie — inspired him to leave his corporate consulting job and become an entrepreneur.