Wild Oven Bakehouse is closing its retail store to focus completely on wholesale.
Saturday will be the last day to shop at the North Franklin Street bakery, but the artisan bread will still be available at its primary vendor, Rainbow Foods, as well as Foodland IGA, Super Bear Supermarket, and several Juneau restaurants, including B’s Bakey and Bistro, Coppa, Zephyr, and Rockwell.
Wild Oven owner Daniel Martin says it’s been difficult to make a living at retail only, so he’s branched into wholesale.
“Once I started to augment retail with wholesale, they started butting into each other,” he says. “We have a tiny space; we can’t do both. So for me, this was an all or nothing decision. I was all retail and then once I realized that wholesale was going to conflict with that, now we’re going all wholesale.”
Martin says he expects to double bread production to 150 loaves a day. He says the change also means less time in the office and more time doing what he loves.
“In my estimate, we’re making better bread now than we ever have before. It’s awesome, and so I just want to keep going with that. I want to keep focusing on the bread. I wake up every morning and put bread in the oven and that’s what I want to keep doing.”
The change also means Martin will reduce his payroll by about half and lay off a couple of employees. The price of bread will go up 50 cents, to $6.49. He says customers will not be able to get other Wild Oven goods after Saturday.
“They won’t be able to get our cookies, our macaroons, our focaccia squares – our ready to eat pizza-like focaccia stuff. We’re not going to make those anymore,” Martin says.
He says he hopes to sell Wild Oven bread to other Juneau restaurants and may market elsewhere in Southeast Alaska.