How Merzbacher’s Bread Bakery Runs Philly’s Cheesesteak Scene

“We have now vents that vent out oven exhaust, and folks will wander round till they discover an entrance and ask ‘do you promote bread right here?’” says Merzbacher’s bakery proprietor Pete Merzbacher. “I don’t suppose each meals does that, however bread does.”

Merzbacher’s is a wholesale artisan bread bakery that produces 10,000 to 12,000 kilos of dough each week, turning it into extremely coveted loaves, potato rolls, baguettes, and a tackle an English muffin dubbed “the Philly Muffin.” At pop-up sandwich store Frizwit, chef Ari Miller says the bread he selects from Merzbacher’s is essential to creating a wonderful Philly cheesesteak. “The construction of the chew of this roll is de facto what holds all of it collectively, after which the within is what soaks up all of that meat juice,” Miller says. “You want a roll that’s going to be a sponge but additionally be a container, and it does that with a variety of taste.”

Earlier than the pandemic, 75 to 80 % of Merzbacher’s gross sales got here from gross sales to eating places. With restaurant limitations and closures over the previous 12 months, that quantity has moved nearer to 50 %, with the opposite 50 % coming from grocery shops. At Philly space grocery retailer Big Meals Retailer, for instance, Merzbacher’s bread may be discovered proper amongst gadgets from nationwide manufacturers like Pepperidge Farm and Thomas’ English Muffins. “What I’m making an attempt to do is make an ideal product accessible to extra folks whether or not you reside in Philly or the suburbs,” Merzbacher says. Based mostly on rising demand for Merzbacher’s bread from tremendous markets and eating places alike, his plan appears to be working.

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