If you’re a regular at Brio Bakery’s stall at City Market every Saturday morning, you’re in luck — you can now buy a loaf of Brio bread any day of the week. The local bakery has opened a new location in the Oliver Exchange building, which has given baker Todd Barraclough far more space to display his baked goods — and more freedom to experiment. “I really get excited, even today. When it comes out of the oven… you put it on the cooling rack and hear it crackle,” says Barraclough.
Though he’s always enjoyed baking and being in the kitchen, Barraclough didn’t envision a career in the food industry. He spent 15 years working as a dental technician before making the choice to stay home to raise his children. With the free time in his schedule, he began to get into baking bread — and he simply never stopped. “We tried different things, then it just spiraled out of control,” Barraclough laughs. “It went well, everyone liked it, I kept trying to learn more and more.” After years of simply teaching himself, he decided to take two courses at the San Francisco Baking Institute to develop his knowledge — one for bread and one for viennoiserie (baked goods made from yeast-leavened dough with additional ingredients like butter and cream).
While he has honed his skill over the years, the core principle of what he does has remained the same. “If you were to go full-circle, I do it all because it’s exactly what I feed my family. That’s my principle all the time. It’s not whether I can make more, faster, if it lasts longer in the shop,” says Barraclough. “Whatever I’m making, it’s what we’re eating at home, and that’s really important, because it all started with how do I make a better, healthier, better tasting loaf of bread.” The new space opened in February of 2019 and will offer Brio’s staples, like prairie loaves and croissants, as well as a rotating seasonal menu.