One San Luis Obispo resident’s small business is bred out of passion and shared with the community with the help of a bike.
Local baker Sam DeNicola said he developed a passion for baking fresh, organic bread and has been doing so for the past eight years.
According to DeNicola, his bread is different from the store-bought kind. Freshly milled, whole spelt, einkorn, whole grain elements and sunflower and pumpkin seeds are just some of the ingredients he adds to an average loaf – although he noted how the simplicity of the baking process is precisely what makes it so good.
“There is just flour, water and salt, [and] a bunch of time, and then you have a loaf of bread,” DeNicola said.
He now bakes up to 60 loaves a week and sells them to community members through his mobile shop, SLO Bread Bike.
“I love food, and making food, because I like to share with other people,” DeNicola said. “Bread is super easy to share, and everyone loves it.”
The business began when he first hopped on his bike and started delivering bread to his friends. Eventually, more and more people began showing interest in DeNicola’s products, including Cal Poly students and employees.
The Real Food Collaborative, a Cal Poly club, has gathered local and sustainable produce for students and community members since 2016, according to its website. DeNicola recently partnered with the Real Food Collaborative.
Now his bread is included in the biweekly vegetable delivery service on Dexter Lawn.
For $100 per quarter, the club also offers a subscription for five deliveries of fresh vegetables from the Cal Poly Orchards and Organic Farm. Each Wednesday from 3 – 6 p.m., subscribers of the Real Food Collaborative pick up fresh produce and browse DeNicola’s bread at the neighboring stand.
Interested buyers can also contact him via Instagram to reserve a loaf in advance.
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Feeling super grateful for my new racks that make it so much easier to bike bread around SLO. I decided to take this week off to spend time with friends and family (and go on a lil bike trip!) but I'll be back in SLO baking next week! But also really though I'm so grateful to all of you beautiful people who I've had the pleasure to bake for and also especially some of my friends new and old who have been so encouraging and helpful and wise and supportive. You all keep me motivated and stoked and warm ❣️🍞🚲
“We get a lot of interest from people as they pass by SLO Bread Bike’s stand,” business junior and Real Food Collaborative club member Emma Cecil said.
Cecil said the Real Food Collaborative hopes to soon give buyers the option to subscribe to DeNicola’s bread as well as the vegetables.
Dexter Lawn is the ideal location to set up shop for Cal Poly students, DeNicola said, because the coveted foods are all in one spot.
“It’s also nice because I get to see everyone and meet everyone, and hang out and eat vegetables and bread,” DeNicola said.
In the future, DeNicola said he hopes to expand the pickup locations for his bread and also one day sell his products at a bakery.
“The thing that really drives me is seeing people eat my food or be happy around my food,” DeNicola said.