H-E-B isn't just keeping Houstonians fed during a time when people have been ordered to stay home. The Texas grocer saved at least one local businesses.
Bread Man Baking Company's artisan breads can now be found at 14 local H-E-Bs. The timing couldn't have better. Best known as a wholesaler that supplies sourdough, baguettes, and other breads to top Houston restaurants such as Georgia James and Eunice, Bread Man's business declined 78 percent when government orders forced restaurants to close their dining rooms. Pivoting to selling its products in grocery stores allows the company to keep baking.
"They came as a savior to us, to be honest," Bread Man founder and CEO Tasos Katsaounis said in a statement. "It’s a bittersweet time, but I’m filled with gratitude and hope from this new union. Scott McClelland and H-E-B saved my business."
Bread Man's pain de mei, country sourdough batard, and whole wheat sourdough batard can be found at H-E-Bs across Houston, including locations in Montrose, Tanglewood/Briargrove, The Heights, The Woodlands, Kingwood, Sugar Land, West University Place, Memorial/Spring Branch, and the Third Ward. In addition, 11 Houston-area Whole Foods Markets also stock the company's products.
Even people who are avoiding grocery stores have access to the company's products. Bread Man is holding weekly pop-ups at Dandelion Cafe in Bellaire on Mondays, White Elm Cafe & Bakery in the Memorial area on Wednesdays, and Whiskey Cake in Katy on Fridays. Avondale Food & Wine and Coppa Osteria have also added the company's breads to their inventories of grocery items.
Unemployed hospitality industry workers are invited to stop by the three pop-ups to receive a loaf of bread for free. It's Katsaounis' way of giving back to a community he joined when he founded Bread Man in 2018.
"The hospitality industry is like a family and they embraced my bakery with open arms when we started," he said. "It’s my turn to support them."