HOUSTON — The word “entrepreneur” is synonymous with passion, risk and vision. It’s something you are, not something you’re taught. It’s your DNA. It takes courage to accept risks and learn from failure.

When I started Bread Man Baking Co. in 2017, I took a massive risk, but I was driven by the passion to share my love for clean artisan bread.

Our first production facility was 4,800 square feet, and I was certain it would give us five years for slow growth. I was wrong … it lasted two and half years. I knew we had to reinvest to not only to execute my vision but also continue that growth trajectory. The question was: How much space did we need?

The answer was clear but complicated. We needed adequate space for immediate and future growth, the ability to scale and increase output and capabilities, and, most importantly, preserve and maintain the product quality our customers expected.


This meant moving into a space 10 times bigger than the original: the biggest risk thus far.

I visited other bakeries to learn from more experienced owners. I spent months working on financial projections, budgets and a sales pipeline to justify the investment. There were countless sleepless nights weighing the pros and cons and predicting every possible outcome. Then I remembered the advice from one generous bakery owner who opened his doors to me.

He looked me in the eye and said, “Build it, and they will come.” My first reaction was, “You’re crazy!” But the more I thought about it, he was right.

So, I built it.


But how would we maintain our quality in a 40,000-sq.-ft. space with all new equipment? We hired smartly. I had a talented artisan baker who was leading our operations, but he didn’t have experience with a bakery this size. So, I took another necessary risk. I hired a plant manager who was Lean certified with 25 years of experience with companies like Grupo Bimbo and H-E-B. We married artisan baking with commercial manufacturing, and our product quality has never been better.

And the customers are coming.


We invested in talent and equipment with quality and growth at the forefront. Was it risky? Yes. Would I recommend it? Or do it again? Absolutely.

This story originally ran as a part of Commercial Baking’s Last Word series in the Q2 issue. After 22 years in management consulting, Tasos Katsaounis left his corporate career to start Houston-based Bread Man Baking Co., baking bread from his Yiayia’s recipes. Since then, Bread Man has grown to become a supplier to top hotels, chefs and retailers across the country.