Colectivo Coffee Roasters: Branching out to bakery

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Colectivo Coffee Roasters announced on Wednesday, May 14th the debut of its newest brand, Troubadour Bakery.

Customers at Colectivo Bay View can watch the breads being baked daily in a custom stone hearth oven.

For more than a decade, bakers in Bay View have been making items for Colectivo Coffee -- but now they're making a name for themselves.

"This is something that has been 14 years in the making. We originally founded our bakery to supply our cafes with baked goods, but this bakery has grown up. It`s an adult now," Colectivo Coffee co-owner Lincoln Fowler said.

Colectivo fans can now buy loaves of the bread they've tasted on sandwiches for years.

Troubadour is expected to offer a selection of breads in many different forms (Pan Loaves, Boules, Batards, Baguettes), using a variety of doughs including Sourdough, Multi Grain, Honey Whole Wheat, Sesame Semolina, Challah, and Ciabatta.

Many of the bakers in the kitchen learned the craft in San Francisco -- something Colectivo viewed as an investment.

"I remember making baguettes for four straight days and the art of making a perfect baguette is really where it`s at in the bread business," Troubadour Bakery Director of Operations Matthew Post said.

Perhaps the centerpiece of the bakery is the main stone hearth oven. It has eight separate ovens -- and was shipped over from Italy!

"Thank goodness for it! It really helps us get the textures, the flavor profiles and the moisture level we need to make a true artisanal product," Post said.

Colectivo's owners say getting Troubadour off the ground will be a challenge, but they believe their bakers are up to it.

"Food is art, bakery is science and this is such a difficult thing to do. I`m so proud to work here because they do stuff I could never do and they`re executing at a world-class level," Fowler said.

All existing bakery items will continue to be offered at Colectivo cafes and for wholesale, but will now be branded with the Troubadour name. Troubadour's artisan breads will be used in all cafes to prepare sandwiches. They'll also be available to select wholesale customers and on sale daily at Colectivo Bay View's new "Bread Counter."

Colectivo has 12 cafe locations in the Milwauikee area and another in Madison.

Fowler says the expansion may force Troubadour into a bigger space in a few years -- but it's an issue he says he'd be happy to have.

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