Since Bread Connection opened in March, the Chandler artisanal bakery’s strategy has been to grow slowly but surely. So far, so good. In the past few months, it’s made believers of some of the Valley’s top restaurants, including Cork in Chander and Tarbell’s and Tomaso’s in Phoenix.
Bread Connection was launched by Becky Smeraldo, who (along with her late husband) owned Chandler’s European Bakery, which was bought out by Simply Bread. Simply Bread unexpectedly closed in February 2011.
Smeraldo has been rebuilding her former commercial customer list, which now numbers about 25 restaurants. She began making deliveries in her small Kia, but recently leased a 16-foot truck for more capacity. One of her biggest challenges, she says, has been adding staff fast enough to keep up with demand.
The bakery, located on the northwest corner of Alma School and Chandler Boulevard, also includes a retail store where the public can purchase fresh-baked sourdough, marble rye, pumpernickel, foccacia, ciabatta, baguettes, kaiser rolls, bagels, crumb cakes, turnovers, cookies, brownies and more.
There’s also a small lunch menu of salads and sandwiches (see menu), with indoor seating as well as a patio. (Pictured: London Broil roast beef sandwich with sharp cheddar and horseradish on ciabatta.)
The retail store and eatery currently are open weekdays only. But starting Oct. 13, Smeraldo says, they also will be open Saturdays.