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Back Porch Bakery goes into Carlton Hotel 

Back Porch Bakery Carlton Hotel Atascadero
Back Porch Bakery to open a retail café in the Carlton Hotel in May. Photo by Heather Young

Wholesale bakery opens second location in county

–An artisan wholesale bakery in San Luis Obispo has opened a second location, this time over the grade in Atascadero at the Carlton Hotel. Back Porch Bakery started baking in the Carlton three weeks ago. Right now, the bakery only offers wholesale items; however, in May it will open the retail side in the existing storefront in the Carlton Hotel along El Camino Real.

Owners Bill Brocco and Dan Berkeland started baking together in 2011 after Berkeland started baking in his kitchen and serving it on his back porch.

“At first [our customers] only had to make a donation because we weren’t able to sell from the house,” Brocco said, adding that is how the business got its name “Back Porch Bakery.”

Not long after they started working together, they got a space together in San Luis Obispo and starting selling their bread and breakfast baked goods at wholesale. Brocco said Berkeland had been a cook and did some baking in Italy and when he returned he wanted to bake for himself, so he did. For Brocco the venture with Berkeland was his first experience baking at that scale.

Back Porch Bakery provides breakfast pastries for Carlton Hotel guests. Photo by Heather Young

Back Porch Bakery provides breakfast pastries for Carlton Hotel guests. Photo by Heather Young

Each day Back Porch Bakery’s seven bakers produce 250 to 300 loaves of bread plus croissants and other breakfast pastries such as muffins, scones and cinnamon rolls. Since opening in the Carlton, the bakery provides breakfast pastries for the hotel in the retail space.

Brocco said they chose to open in the Carlton after being approached by hotel management. He said that someone they’ve worked with a Justin Winery, a client of the bakery’s, suggested Back Porch Bakery to someone with the Carlton.

“We’ve always had a lot of opportunity in the North County, but we haven’t been able to reach them from San Luis,” Brocco said, adding that in the few weeks the bakery has been in Atascadero, it’s already gotten more clients in the North County. “Right now we’re still working out figuring this out – so nothing gets forgotten or lost.”

With the expansion, Brocco said they will definitely open a retail cafe, the name of which is still in the air, but it will not be until May.

“I’m looking forward to doing some new, fun stuff,” Brocco said. “The hotel has been fantastic making this happen.”

Bakers start work at 3 a.m. and end between 6 and 8 p.m. Brocco said the bakery used to have shifts 24 hours a day, but since moving to Atascadero, cut out the night shift.

Back Porch Bakery owner Bill Brocco checks artisan bread in one of the ovens in the Carlton Hotel bakery. Photo by Heather Young

Back Porch Bakery owner Bill Brocco checks artisan bread in one of the ovens in the Carlton Hotel bakery. Photo by Heather Young

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