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Bakery van brings fresh bread to roadside customers
Denise and Martin Becar’s daily routine revolves around bread, five days a week.
They bake up to 40 different types of fresh bread in a commercial kitchen each night, and then sell it along the roadside in a bread van during the day.
Despite that effort, they call their shops Loaf & Round.
“Our business model is designed after what we’ve seen in Europe,” Denise Becar said, but “it’s becoming more popular in the U.S.”
The Becars have two vans that they’ve renovated into traveling bakeries, and they take them to locations in Port Orchard, Silverdale or Bremerton, depending on the day.
“We’re able to be at a location that’s easier to get to, rather than being in town and expecting people to get to us,” said Denise Becar. “It’s the service we would want if we were looking for the service.”
The van is in Port Orchard on Bay Street at the west side of the city’s waterfront area on Mondays and Fridays, and bread is available from noon until it runs out.
The van is at the same location from noon to 2 p.m. on Wednesdays and from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Saturdays.
The loaves sold at the bakery range from traditional French baguettes and sourdoughs to more unusual varieties, such as a hearty Shepherd’s Bread, with goat’s milk, honey, fruit, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds.
Denise described her husband as a “scientist” who enjoys making up new recipes, like the Shepherd’s Bread, which is based on a description he found in the journal of a nomadic Czechoslovakian sheepherder.
The loaves range in price from $3 to $7.
Mike Smith, who has lived in Port Orchard his whole life, buys the Robust Seeded 10-Grain Hearth Bread whenever the Loaf & Round van is in town, he said.
It’s like what soldiers in the Roman army ate during their European conquest, he said.
“Nutritionally, it’s some of the best you can get,” he said. “It’s so nutritional that two slices are like a meal.”
Some Loaf & Round customers are regulars, like Smith, while others are new.
Peggy Green, who’s visiting the area from West Palm Beach, Fla., picked up a loaf on her way to a family gathering shortly after Smith finished his purchase.
“(Our customers) make us smile,” said Denise Becar. “It’s a pleasure to be out here, providing good bread to good people.”