Today we’d like to introduce you to Clinton and Louie Prager.
Louie and Clinton (The Prager Brothers) were born and raised in Carlsbad. Louie developed an affinity for artisan baking while studying plant biology at Cal Poly State University.
After getting a degree he was having difficulty finding work that suited him – so he continued his passion for baking back home in Carlsbad. Shortly after this, Clint moved back from Santa Cruz where he was studying music. Louie’s volume continued to increase, and he could not get all of the baking done on his own.
Together, Louie and Clint started baking naturally leavened, hand-shaped loaves of bread in a wood-fired oven they built together in their parent’s backyard. The loaves were baked in the wee hours of the morning and sold at the Farmer’s Markets.
The Bros. outgrew the backyard oven and eventually moved into a small industrial space. Prager Brothers Artisan Breads has since outgrown that space as well and resides a couple suites down in the Carlsbad Gateway Center. They sell out of the front of their bakery, participate in the farmer’s markets each week, and have two delivery vans that distribute the bread to restaurants and local grocers each day.
In addition to the continued growth of a community focused on food and farming, next year the bakery will open a second retail location in downtown Encinitas. The Bros. are excited to expand and be able to feed more people, real bread made with organic grains.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Baking is not an easy business. Firstly, bread is a perishable product with a short shelf life that must be reproduced fresh every day. Everything the bakery makes is hand-shaped, therefore requires skill to consistently reproduce at such high quality. Not to mention, bakers hours begin when everyone is sleeping.
When it all begins with Prager Brothers, Louie and Clint were waking up in the middle of the night to bake and going down the markets to sell the bread themselves. Imagine accomplishing extremely labor intensive production all night, hustling all day and cleaning up all afternoon.
Now an established bakery, Prager Bros. still faces the challenges of owning a small business. Challenges aside, they could not have achieved success without their hard-working team and dear customers.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Prager Brothers Artisan Breads – what should we know?
Prager Brothers is a craft bakery specializing in artisan breads. The bakery honors the tradition of baking naturally leavened, hand-shaped bread – and we use all organic grains. By doing this, they strive to respect history, help the environment and change the future of our food.
The bakery offers a variety of baked goods in addition to our naturally leavened breads including pastries, cookies, and sandwiches. Prager Bros. is contributing to a larger food movement – one that is returning back to cultivating, preparing and eating food that resonates with the land and with our bodies.
Specifically, the reintroduction of a wide variety of ancient whole grains which will diversify the crop and sustain our land, and at the same time taste delicious and nourish our bodies. The bakery has a stone flour mill, and many breads contain fresh milled flours.
Over 13 varieties of grains such as Kamut, Spelt, Hard Red Wheats, Barley, and Rye are milled in-house and baked into whole grain sourdough loaves. Milling flour with a stone mill increases flavor and nutrition, restores the tradition of artisan baking and allows the bakery to develop relationships directly with organic grain farmers.
To help achieve that goal of feeding more people, real, organic bread, Prager Bros. is developing a more approachable loaf that has all of the qualities of artisan bread and is accessible to a wider population.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Prager Brothers Artisan Breads are made fresh daily by hand. There is love and hard work in the product. We make real food that nourishes people, and our customers can feel the difference.
What the brothers have done to be so successful is scale their business, and still make everything by hand and of the highest quality. Their success is a result of dedication and passion for the craft, the incredible team of people that work for them and the loyal customers.
- Address: 5611 Palmer Way Suite C
Carlsbad, CA 92010
- Website: www.pragerbrothers.com
- Phone: 7607031904
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sam Wells Photography