Local Bites at Carlsbad Gateway Center: Prager Brother’s Artisan Bread
Prager Brother’s Artisan Bread is a farmer’s market household name in San Diego, known for their hand tossed artisan bread. On the other hand, people might not know that the founders, Louie and Clinton Prager, opened up a brick and mortar location at Carlsbad Gateway Center. This center is home to over 80 small businesses, as a place to sell quality items daily and have enough space to bake 300 plus loaves a day. The brother baker-duo is dedicated to the time-old craft of bread making and is the only standing organic bakery in San Diego.
Prager Brothers Artisan Breads started in April 2012 at their parents’ house where they converted a shed in their backyard into a tiny bakery. They uniquely mix, shape and bake dough using a wood fired oven on the patio. After a year of baking in the backyard and packing bread on their mom’s kitchen table, they moved the bakery to Carlsbad Gateway Center in May 2013. As their business grew, so did their space at Carlsbad Gateway Center—relocating to a larger space in December 2015 at the makers’ park.
“In college I dreamed of having a bakery, my baking mentor, Ricardo, tried to persuade me otherwise, so I followed his advice and tried to get a job as a botanist for an environmental consulting firm,” said Louie Prager.
“I sent dozens of resumes out without one reply. The bakery started organically when I started selling bread to friends and neighbors and people loved it. I was just a passionate baker, I was not thinking like an entrepreneur trying to create a business.”
Little did Prager know, that he would be where he is today.
All of Prager Brothers’ breads are made daily from scratch with 100 percent organic ingredients.The most popular items on the menu include the country sourdough loaves, baguettes, wholegrain sourdough breads, croissants and breakfast pastries. Some of the specialty items include cookies, sandwiches, croissants, scones, breakfast pastries, and pizza. The Prager Brothers also make hummus and olive tapenade in house for the sandwiches they serve up at their Carlsbad Gateway Center location.
The Prager Brothers’ bakery is home to a special custom stone mill made of granite stones that spins slowly, allowing them to make their flour organic in-house. Most flour is milled with roller mills made of stainless steel rollers that spin fast and make a lot of flour quickly; this process destroys the subtle germ oil and other delicate flavors and aromas, as well as nutrients.
“Keeping the craft alive is important because people need to eat good bread,” said Louie Prager. “Bread has been a staple since the beginning of civilization and today bread does not get the respect it deserves. We feel our business is a restoration attempt for bread and traditional craft foods.”
With the affordable and small spaces at Carlsbad Gateway Center, the Prager Brothers are able to set quality standards for their products. They focus on selling organic bread and baked goods directly to consumers. They staff employees based on skill and expect them to learn the craft of making bread.
“The Carlsbad Gateway Center is a great place to run our operation, it allows the space we need to operate a production bakery, for large semi-trucks to deliver to our back door, and at the same time customers can come in the front door to buy the products straight out of the oven,” said Prager. “It’s an industrial business park with zoning that allows for retail. For us, it’s the only way we can afford to produce and sell out of the same location.”
The Prager Brothers’ number one motivator is their customers’ support and love. They secondly strive to participate in the food movement and know that their bakery business is focused on producing healthier food for us and the environment.
“The diversity of the tenants we have here at Carlsbad Gateway Center has evolved into something we believe is pretty special,” said CGC Property Manager Toni Adamopoulos. “We have fostered a collaborative community of “makers” within the park, and been able to encourage and grow this environment of artisans.”
The Prager Brothers work is driven by people who want better food for themselves and the environment.