Fans of the 29-year-old Empire Baking Company can now purchase takeout items directly from the Dallas bakery, where 8,000 loaves of bread are raised each day. A small retail store opened in the front of the store on April 26, 2021.
Empire East, as the store is known, is on University Boulevard, just east of Central Expressway. Customers will find a renovated storefront selling sandwiches, salads, loaves of bread and cookies.
The back of the building remains the commercial kitchen and the Empire bakery. The bulk of Empire’s business is selling loaves of bread and hamburger buns to Dallas restaurants and hotels such as Al Biernat Steakhouse, Meddlesome Moth, Toulouse, Bonton Farms, and the Adolphus Hotel.
For years, the only place Dallas residents could buy Empire baked goods was near Lovers Lane and Inwood Road in Dallas, in Empire’s free-standing retail store.
Empire Meaders co-owner Ozarow and account manager Emily Hartsell had ambitions to add a retail component to the East Dallas bakery for years, but it took a pandemic to convince them.
âIt seemed like such a heavy task until the pandemic,â says Ozarow. Corporate events and weddings were at a standstill in 2020, and take-out sales from the Lovers Lane boutique increased by 35%. It made business sense to have a second storefront that sells takeout, says Ozarow.
Empire East, a comfortable 300 square foot, is a former storage closet. But you wouldn’t know it: Now there are white subway tiles on the wall, a crate full of puffy cookies and sparkling croissants, and a commercial refrigerator where patrons can grab their own sandwiches.
The two most popular sandwiches are the Ham Baguette and the Granny Smith Apple Smoked Turkey.
Unlike the store in Lovers Lane, this one doesn’t have pasta, cheese, or espresso. They almost exclusively sell items made in-house, just behind the swinging door that separates the store from the team of bakers who mix the dough.
âPeople always want to know, ‘Where is it made? “, Said Ozarow. This is that place.
Since Texas is âiced tea country,â she expects to sell a lot of unsweetened blackcurrant iced tea, a popular item at Lovers Lane. Empire East will also sell Noble Coyote filter coffee. And bags of crisps to accompany the sandwiches.
It’s a small, simple place that at least a dozen customers had already discovered on opening day.
Empire Baking Company East is located at 5614 E. University Blvd., Dallas. The wholesale bakery, which is not open to the public, remains at the same address. No seats inside or outside.
For more food information, follow Sarah Blaskovich on Twitter at @sblaskovich.