Bronx artisanal bakery finds its products on the rise

Bronx artisanal bakery finds its products on the rise
Fresh out of the oven at Leaven & Co.
Community News Group/ Alex Mitchell

Like the bread they produce, Leaven & Companies bakery is on the rise. Serving New York City and its surrounding 60 miles, the Bronx bakery has put buns on six of New York Magazine’s 20 best burgers in the city and much more.

Starting as Rollo Mio bakery in a miniscule workspace in Maspeth, Queens, the company implemented an expansion to avoid ‘bursting at the seams.’

Last May Leaven & Co. found a spacious waterfront facility in Hunts Point, customizing the inside to become a perfect fit for the bakers.

“Now we’re looking for growth, and have recently merged with the Manhattan-based dessert company Baked, we’re producing a home baking mix for them now as well” said Mark Rimer, president of the BKD Group. “We’re also growing a following in Japan actually,” he added.

Rimer emigrated from the London area in 2009 in pursuit of ‘endless and excellent opportunity’ in America’s bakery industry.

“Everybody needs bread,” said Rimer. “No matter if the economy is rising or falling, people will always be buying bread,” he added.

While production is growing rapidly for their line of bread, buns, pretzels and much more, Leaven & Co. is anything but a generic assembly line.

“Our products are artisanal at scale, meaning throughout the production line the product is handleed by hand during the process,” said Rimer.

Even the factory’s new ‘low stress’ production line for the Baked pre-packaged mix gets a hand touch before its packaging.

Along with success among high-end clientele such as the New York Yankees, Leaven & Co. is always looking to experiment and deliver new, thrilling products.

Keep an eye out for the Yankees logo on the stadium’s Leaven-baked brioche buns.

Right now, head baker Simon Bowden also of the London area is experimenting with what he calls naturally leavened whole grain bread. As opposed to commercially leavened bread, Bowden’s recipe starts with wild sourdough yeast, giving it an authentic, handmade touch.

Bowden is also viewed as the ‘educator-at-large’ for the rest of the baking staff, given his lifetime dedication and perfection of the craft itself.

The sun never sets on Leaven & Co.’s factory as the nature of bread production is around the clock.

Locally, they supply Baldor Foods as well as Relish Caterers in addition to a plethora of high-end Manhattan clients.

“We have a very diverse customer base, we want to keep growing and utilize the Bronx as much as we can,” said Dan Wilczynski, executive vice president of Leaven & Co. “We’re moving all of our equipment to the Bronx including our trucks. Our aim is execution and perfection,” he added.

Leaven & Co. is also providing its workers who speak English as a second language with instruction to help them become more fluent.

Heading into the bakery’s busiest time of the year, Leaven & Co. is gearing up to blow its competition out of the oven.

More from Around NYC