PARK SLOPE- Shari Call has been working as a baker for over 13 years. She’s been all around the country helping to open bakeries and perfecting her craft – California, Cape Cod, Key West, and now, Park Slope’s Fifth Avenue. She and her business partner, Julissa Escobedo, will introduce Simple Loaf Bakehouse to residents sometime next week.
Call is hesitant to name an exact day, as the opening process has not been easy so far. They’ve been in the space between 2nd and 3rd Streets since January and originally hoped to open sometime much earlier. They’ve dealt with an exploding AC, the government shutdown (which put their loan on hold), plumbing and electrical reinforcements, and having to install more fire doors.
“It’s like everything that could have gone wrong, did,” Call told Bklyner. “Now literally everything is basically done, we’re finishing up and getting our final inspections in. We’re very close. There [have] been many trials and tribulations, but we finally are almost done.”
The pair originally decided on Park Slope for their location when Hurricane Irma stranded them in the borough while they were on vacation from working in Key West. It had been a dream of Call’s to open a bakery since she began her career, and she fell in love with the neighborhood.
“There [are] just certain things that I know have been at the bakeries that I’ve opened, and they’ve all been very successful. It’s heavy foot traffic, an urban setting, and you want a lot of young families – people with young children. That’s a good combination of factors,” Call said. Those familiar with Park Slope will immediately understand the neighborhood’s appeal, given those criteria.
Simple Loaf Bakehouse will be, first and foremost, about bread. Both Call and Escobedo are bread bakers, and the shop will feature many varieties.
“We’re doing sourdough breads, different whole grains, spelt, really nice sweet things, buttermilk biscuits and jams and things like that,” Call said.
The shop will also feature a large selection of sandwiches, including chicken caesar, a tri-state grilled cheese, and a pulled pork barbecue.
Call plans on having many items catered to children, including peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, grilled cheese, and soups. There will also be a kids picnic table and high chairs in the space.
“[Being kid friendly] is such an element of a successful bakery, because you’re going to get regulars and people with young children are going to be living in that neighborhood for a long time. You can depend on them coming back,” Call said.
All of the 50-some items on the menu will be made in house. Simple Loaf will also have BKG Coffee Roasters coffee.
Both Call and Escobedo have moved to Park Slope, and are roommates just several blocks away from the bakery.
“We’re here to really be part of the community,” Call said. In the future, she hopes to incorporate cooking classes and charity bake sales to Simple Loaf’s roster.
“We’re just really excited to be in Brooklyn. I feel like I am literally living the dream, I’m so happy,” Call said. “I always really liked Brooklyn, and I wished that [it] was in my future, but I was like, ‘that’s never gonna happen, you know it’s not.’ And now look at me!”
Simple Loaf Bakehouse is located at 310 Fifth Avenue, between 2nd and 3rd Streets. They will be open from 7am-5pm Monday-Saturday, and from 7am-4pm on Sundays. These hours will potentially be extended in the future.