TACOMA, Wash. — Tacoma entrepreneur Jessica DeVisser was looking for a new business idea when she stumbled on an old one.
“I was just hungry for bagels one day, and I used to live in the Hilltop and I looked around and there weren't any bagels,” she said.
No bagels and no bakeries. Not like back in the day when every neighborhood had one.
“The baker was the center of the community before we turned baking into a factory sport,” says Chef Jay O’Neill.
DeVisser teamed up chefs and local business leaders and ran the numbers. Could a start-up with 60 employees earning at least $15 an hour with benefits make it?
“One of our big founding philosophies is hot and fresh all day long,” says O’Neill. “We want the commuters to have something decent for breakfast and maybe grab a sandwich for lunch and then come back by on the way home, grab a baguette that just came out of the oven for dinner.”
DeVisser says the numbers added up. Still, it took three years to open the Tacoma Baking Company.
On opening day Tacoma showed up. There were customers all the way down the block, waiting to buy bagels, artisan bread, and french pastries. Chef Jay high-fived every single one.
“It was probably one of the best experiences in my life,” he says. “It was overwhelming”.
New customers are still discovering this place.
“I always think of Tacoma as a city with a small-town heart,” says DeVisser. “I also like to say Tacoma loves Tacoma and when they see a business starting up they go out of their way to support them."
The shop already has plans to expand its available seating in the Spring.
Tacoma Baking Company | Open Daily 6 AM to 7 PM | 1316 M.L.K. Jr Way, Tacoma, WA 98405