Operation Success: Slow Dough Bread Co. (Houston, Texas)

The pandemic continues to impact all sectors of the foodservice industry, including bakeries that supply fresh-baked goods to restaurants, hotels and other food venues that have had their own businesses turned upside down.

For Slow Dough Bread Co. in Houston, Texas, the evolving situation has brought challenges but also some unexpected opportunities to serve its community in new ways.

The wholesale bakery prides itself on helping restaurants, hotels, distributors and grocery retailers bring better bread to the table. This includes an expansive offering of all types of breads, as well as buns and rolls, pretzel and vegan items—all made with artisan techniques that focus on a slow fermentation process and a short list of quality ingredients.

Slow Dough uses only natural ingredients, no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives and no high fructose corn syrup. General Mills Foodservice is proud to partner with the artisan bakery and supply the unbromated and unbleached flour used in its products.

“We deliver fresh breads all over Texas on a daily basis, ensuring our customers have the freshest product to serve to their own patrons each and every day,” said Andrew Sanchez, director of operations at Slow Dough, adding that the bakery has continued to operate at full force even despite changes in demand. “With the shutdown of local restaurants and other businesses we serve, we’ve been fortunate to switch up some of our offerings to meet the needs of the changing marketplace.”

He explains that, instead of artisan breads and specialty items for its restaurant customers, sliced bread increased in popularity with more people eating at home. Therefore, the bakery started to make more sliced, bagged bread and burger buns for grocery stores, even picking up additional business as area grocers scrambled to meet demand of consumers who were panic-shopping.

Today, consumers can purchase Slow Dough’s breads at Whole Foods’ locations throughout Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas as well as 
H-E-B stores across Houston and San Antonio.

Another opportunity that arose was an opportunity for Slow Dough to give back to the community. The bakery was able to share a truckload of sliced bread with the Houston Food Bank at a time when the donations of excess food from grocery stores was threatened by consumers overbuying.

“Slow Dough has been such a vital partner to many businesses throughout Texas by supplying the quality breads they rely on and it was great to see them step up to help the local food bank at a critical time,” said Caroline Winchester, an account executive with the Foodservice Ingredients team at General Mills Foodservice. “This is a bakery that not only supplies outstanding, top quality breads, but is backed by a team of compassionate individuals and owners who truly care about their customers’ success and the health and well-being of the community they serve.”

Slow Dough is More Than Just A Name
Slow Dough Bread Co. was founded in 2009 by husband and wife team, Heath and Marlo Wendell. Heath is a fifth generation baker, and together, the couple has grown the bakery to be one the largest all-natural bakeries in Texas with more than 500 wholesale accounts. They attribute the bakery’s success to using high quality ingredients and their reliance on time and fermentation to produce delicious taste and texture.

According to the bakery’s website, “every step of our baking process, from sourcing ingredients to delivering fresh bread, is done with time and care.”