Arts & Life

Breaking bread at Colossus Bakery

Opening in Belmont Shore in 2021, Colossus bakery has been known for making all their baked goods fresh each day by those who take pride in their work.

Voted as the “Best Place to Meet a Match from a Dating App” by CSULB students, Colossus bakery offers a comfortable and welcoming environment for all customers.

With its focus on fresh goods, it is no surprise that it has seen the success that Colossus has; from a shared kitchen to now having two locations in the South Bay.

Kristin Rodriguez, owner of Colossus and Long Beach State graduate, started the company in 2018 from the shared kitchen in Costa Mesa, making all of her goods from scratch. Her success led her to buying a location in San Pedro in August of 2019.

However, six months later, she would face the COVID-19 pandemic. Through her determination, the team would be able to make it through that difficult time.

“Before that, we were just always pivoting, like we were hopping from the kitchen to the farmers market and having to kind of shuffle around,” Rodriguez said. “We were very lucky in a way because we are mostly a to-go, takeout food, business, our space in San Pedro was really small.”

Loaves of bread on display are available to purchase when entering Colossus Bread. But don't squeeze them! Customers need to ask staff for help if they have any questions about the bread, according to signs inside.
Loaves of bread on display are available to purchase when entering Colossus Bread. But don't squeeze them! Customers need to ask staff for help if they have any questions about the bread, according to signs inside. Photo credit: Nicholas Broadhead

Even during the midst of the pandemic, Rodriguez found a vacant restaurant location on 2nd Street in Long Beach and turned it into an over-the-counter location with more modern equipment.

“We actually turned a lot of the seating area into just like bread shaping and production space, so we extended the production space a little bit past the kitchen,” Rodriguez said.

Colossus Bread offers a variety of meal items, from all day breakfast sandwiches, to more lunch time sandwiches such as the BLT. They are all made fresh and are available to eat dine-in or to-go.
Colossus Bread offers a variety of meal items, from all day breakfast sandwiches, to more lunch time sandwiches such as the BLT. They are all made fresh and are available to eat dine-in or to-go. Photo credit: Nicholas Broadhead

Juliette Knight has worked as a barista for multiple years before getting hired at Colossus, but sees the care that her job has for all employees in making sure they are successful.

“They actually went ahead and gave me two full coffee training days with the owner’s husband who does the coffee roasting, so he really knows what he’s doing,” Knight said.

Higher hourly wages have recently been implemented by the company after switching to a no tipping policy. To Knight, it means no longer having to rely on tips to make a living.

saw that it wasn't super reliable when we [the staff] were pulling tips and now they’re like 'okay, everyone pays a 15% service charge,' said Juliette Knight, a barista for Colossus Bread. Photo credit: Nicholas Broadhead” align=”aligncenter” id=”attachment_72509″ width=”475″]"They [store owners] saw that it wasn&squot;t super reliable when we [the staff] were pulling tips and now they’re like &squot;okay, everyone pays a 15% service charge,&squot; said Juliette Knight, a barista for Colossus Bread.

The baking process has also seen change, as Rodriguez first had to make croissants and other kinds of baked goods completely by hand. Now in Long Beach, the location has ovens, better refrigerators and tools to make the baking process more efficient.

“We make everything at our Long Beach store. In the front, you can see everything being made and then we send everything freshly baked in the morning to San Pedro,” Rodriguez said.

From sauces to fresh coffee grounds, Colossus Bakery sells more than just the fresh bread they are known for.
From sauces to fresh coffee grounds, Colossus Bakery sells more than just the fresh bread they are known for. Photo credit: Nicholas Broadhead

Rodriguez has many different ambitions she could look into, such as having a warehouse or working in a different entity that has to do with wine.

“Those are kind of like, if the right opportunity came around and we were able to do something slightly different, I would be interested because I’m the kind of person who always has a million ideas and it’s kind of everywhere, all at once,” Rodriguez said.

Colossus bakery, located at 4716 2nd St., provides a warm environment for students and Long Beach residents to share fresh bread, drink a variety of seasonal drinks and meet new people.

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