Bread and Butter

Bread Bandits Is Serving Seriously Good Sourdough at Its New Sarasota Bakery

Business partners Jules Thuet and Brad Rutledge know a thing or two about bread.

By Lauren Jackson September 8, 2023

At Bread Bandits, everything is baked fresh daily.

At Bread Bandits, everything is baked fresh daily.

A new bakery opened yesterday on the corner of Osprey Avenue and Siesta Drive. Bread Bandits is pumping out delicious sourdough, fresh croissants and an assortment of other baked goods from its brand-new spot.

Owners Brad Rutledge and Jules Thuet moved to Sarasota from Toronto, where Thuet’s family owned a successful bakery and Rutledge worked as the head baker.

“During the pandemic, we came down to visit my mom, who lives here, and we fell in love with Sarasota. It’s so beautiful and the people are so kind. But we saw a need for good sourdough bread,” says Thuet, who is a sixth-generation baker.

“Brad is like the LeBron James of bakers. When it comes to bread, there is no one I’ve seen better,” Thuet continues. “He took the plunge with me, so we moved down and worked in Gulf Gate until we opened our flagship yesterday. Your Culinary Place [a shared commercial kitchen] helped us get started.

"We didn’t want to sit around not baking anything while we built this place, so Your Culinary Place gave us an opportunity to get our name out there. We mostly made croissants because our bread oven wouldn’t fit in that space."

Rutledge and Thuet met at Thuet's family bakery in Toronto.

Rutledge and Thuet met at Thuet's family bakery in Toronto.

Thuet and Rutledge have since learned how to navigate Florida’s less-than-ideal baking climate.

“Every culture has bread, no matter the climate. There’s no excuse to not have good bread," Thuet says. "It takes adjustments and it’s not easy, but we can make a great product here. We have a filtration system for the water, and we have good AC. We use less water than we would in a northern climate because of the humidity, and we bake everything fresh daily so, we always suggest eating it the day of."

Thuet is a sixth-generation baker.

Thuet is a sixth-generation baker.

One adjustment the pair haven’t had to make is to the sourdough starter, which is from Thuet’s family and more than 100 years old.

“The starter is my great-grandmother’s from France. My dad smuggled it over to Canada. It has a very deep flavor,” he says.

As Bread Bandits continues to grow its audience, the pair have plans to add salads and sandwiches to the menu, as well as an assortment of local retail products to take home. They have also partnered with a few local businesses, like Hamlet’s Eatery at The Baazar on Apricot and Lime, to assist with their bread offerings.

“Bread is in my blood and where I feel most comfortable," Thuet says. "I love working with my hands. So many people are eating bad bread. We’re bringing back good bread—how it’s supposed to be.”

Bread Bandits is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday at 3546 S. Osprey Ave., Sarasota. For more information call (941) 413-5112 or click here.

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