Idle Hands Bread Co., coming soon to Jackson Ward. (Photo by: Stephanie Breijo)
[6/17/16 Update: According to the bakery's social media, Idle Hands is now open at 312 Brook Road in Jackson Ward!]
[6/15/16 Update: Idle Hands Bread Co. will open in Jackson Ward this week, by Saturday, June 18. Stay tuned to the bakery's Facebook page for updates on its Thursday or Friday launch.]
Well, that was fast. In fewer than four months, Scott's Addition's Idle Hands Bread Co. outgrew its 223-square-foot space at 3103 W. Leigh St., incentivizing owner and baker Jay Metzler to think big — big enough to sign a lease on the 850-square-foot storefront at 312 Brook Road in Jackson Ward.
"I've just hit all four walls," he says. "I can only make a certain number of pastries a day without having things bust out of the refrigerator, and I can only make so much bread. So with the new place, the goal is to make enough bread to get a couple more wholesale accounts — because right now I'm maxed out and having to turn people down — and then also, right now I'm making pastries and when they sell out, they're gone; I'm hoping to have more available, all day, but still have everything made every day."
In just a few months, passersby will spot loaves of naturally risen bread and laminated pastries sitting in a sunny window just off Broad Street. Metzler's kitchen area alone in the new space is the size of his current bakery; it's going to make room for more than one prep table, allowing him to offer a few new types of bread and new pastries, plus hire on an extra baker. Metzler, whose bread can also be found in Little House Green Grocery, Outpost Richmond, JM Stock Provisions, and Yellow Umbrella, among others, will remain at his current spot in Scott's Addition for the next few months until the new space is ready, which he estimates will be June. He's also planning to extend hours in his new neighborhood, staying open until 6 p.m. on weekdays instead of closing at 4 p.m. as he does now, and eventually opening the shop seven days a week.
"It's big and it's scary but I feel like it's necessary for me to keep going and not run into walls," Metzler says, and adds, "I'll miss lots of faces in Scott's Addition. I hope that they will come visit the new bakery, a straight shot pretty much down Leigh street. And as soon as someone decides to put a market in Scott's Addition, I'll hopefully sell my bread there."
Idle Hands Bread Co. is currently located in Scott's Addition at 3103 W. Leigh St.