As the 10,000-student Azusa Pacific University, in Azusa, Calif., has grown, real estate has been harder and harder to come by. By last summer, things had gotten so tight that Director of Hospitality Services Samuel Samaan decided to take a bold step. He chose to move his bakery off campus, to the community of Glendora, about three miles away.
The move has paid off, so much so that Samaan opened a retail outlet on the site. The Glendora Café and Bakery has become a local destination, as well as a lab for the Azusa Pacific business students who work there as interns.
“We had no more real estate we could dedicate for production,” says Samaan, who explains that his department produces all of its own baked goods from scratch. “Our bakers were working in the same kitchen that services one of our dining halls, and they were confined to about 300 square feet of space. We didn’t have the right equipment or the right tools.”
The space the bakery now inhabits, which itself was a commercial bakery until the 1990s, has 10 times that production space and proper equipment to match. And the café helps to offset some of the bakery’s operating costs, while at the same time creating a new dining venue for Glendora residents.
“The location was a very popular bakery back in the ’80s and ’90s, and there were a lot of memories here for residents,” Samaan says. “We’ve
tried to capture all those good stories while also creating a new experience for the community.”
The café serves Peet’s Coffee, along with a variety of bagels, croissants, breakfast sandwiches, cakes, pies and other baked goods.
Each week, the bakery produces 650 dozen large muffins, 650 dozen hamburger buns, 600 dozen sandwich rolls, 250 dozen loaves of bread and 800 dozen cookies for use in the dining halls. In addition, the bakery creates special-occasion desserts such as fruit tarts and gourmet-style cupcakes for campus events and meetings.